We have long argued that the opportunity for an new utility lies in the ability to control distributed assets in the home ones that generate, store or can shift demand. There is a novel way to do just this targeting, initially, energy storage and is testing the business model in an innovative pilot. Otherwise, distributed energy resources management system help to monitor and manage the solar panels, plug-in electric vehicles, energy storage assets and demand response capabilities on the customer side of its grid.
The forward-thinking utility wants to encourage customers to install behind-the-meter batteries so that it can draw power from them at certain, pre-agreed peak demand periods. To get customers to do this, the utility is approving a reduced electricity rate which is aimed at rewarding customers who give the utility control over their batteries during certain times. The financial incentives from this ‘special’ rate will be tiered, with higher payments for customers who accept higher levels of utility control. It is a new way of sustaining and supporting utility operations and reducing the need for “more steel in the ground.”