Distributed Energy Resources are an exciting development in the New Zealand electricity sector – essentially allowing consumers generating their own electricity to contribute to the smart grid.
Distributed Energy Resources include small scale generation (such as solar photo-voltaic systems and wind power), batteries, electric vehicles connected to smart two-way chargers, and other new smart technologies that will see our homes and business play an active role in the operation of the power system of the future. These are connected to our distribution networks not the national grid (hence the name Distributed Energy Resources).
How does it work?
Demand response and revenue generation
There are two sides to a balanced electricity system: supply, which comes from generation, and demand, which comes from homes and businesses. Much of the time the system is held in balance by changing the supply of electricity as demand changes.
At a national level, the System Operator controls this balance in real-time by reducing or ‘flexing’ demand as required (such as at times of high use, maintenance work, supply constraints), with financial incentives for organisations and resources to respond. This is termed Demand Response.
Distributed Energy Resources allow more consumers to be part of the Demand Response and support the National Grid – unlocking and monetising the potential of electricity generated via Flexibility Management Systems.
Flexibility Management Systems are software-based platforms used to communicate, manage and orchestrate Distributed Energy Resources, such as managing:
- Ripple control of hot water and participation of large commercial consumers
- Reduce and flex demand in real time through turning smart appliances down, up, on or off
- Reduce and flex demand by using solar PV or batteries to meet load locally
- Shift demand from peak to off peak times by controlling when smart devices such as appliances, hot water cylinders or EV chargers operate.