Six Challenges Every Utility Must Assess

The rise of renewable energy as a distributed energy resource (DER) has led utilities to grapple with fundamental changes to grid operations. Utilities are incorporating more customer-sited and third-party DERs into their local grids, including solar, wind, and battery storage systems, among others. The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) adds to this complexity. In this rapidly changing sector, operators struggle to safely integrate new DERs into local grid nodes efficiently.

This white paper describes the challenges utilities face in moving toward a grid with high renewable energy penetration that integrates millions of DERs.

  1. New grid demands are leading to suboptimal, patchwork solutions
  2. Renewable energy capacity is rising everywhere
  3. Solar saturation is forcing a no-win curtailment strategy
  4. The rise of EVs is compounding DER-related grid stress and complexity
  5. DER grid connection costs are uneven, raising questions around equity
  6. Public safety power shutoffs due to natural disasters are amplifying the trends
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