Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed energy resources (DER) are an exciting development in the New Zealand electricity sector because it enables both residential houses and businesses who generate their own electricity to distribute it back into the network (typically locally).


Common forms of distributed energy resources are small scale generation such as solar, electric vehicles (EVs)/charge point stations, batteries, and heat pumps.

With the right oversight and capability, distributed energy resources can provide several benefits for New Zealanders and the wider electricity market. It is also expected to play an important role in the electrification journey Aotearoa has embarked on.

In our 2020 Whakamana i te Mauri Hiko paper, one of our projections estimated that by 2035 there will be 3.9 million distributed energy resources deployed across Aotearoa, with major contributions from smart appliances and smart EV charging. DERs deployed on this scale opens huge opportunities for ‘demand-side management’ whereby electricity demand can be temporarily reduced to manage morning and evening peaks - a unique challenge in New Zealand because of our high renewable generation base. 

To facilitate meaningful peak reduction from DERs, some infrastructure will be needed. However, the modest cost of establishing DER markets for Aotearoa are likely to realise disproportionate benefits by: 

  • Avoiding unnecessary investment in peaking generation (typically gas-fired) 
  • Deferral of transmission and distribution investments 
  • Enabling congestion management on electricity networks 
  • Encouraging renewable generation through providing the demand-side flexibility required to firm intermittent energy (wind and solar) 
  • Encouraging consumer investment in renewable solar and battery systems 
  • Encouraging electrification through enabling the full demand-side value of assets such as process heaters and batteries (including those in EVs) to be realised 
  • Enabling efficient integration of DER into the electricity system 

FlexPoint™: managing Distributed Energy Resources in the new energy future 

Locally developed and supported, FlexPoint is Transpower’s Distributed Energy Resource Management System that provides operators (like Transpower) to seamlessly coordinate DER assets that are managed by Flexibility Providers.  

FlexPoint takes care of the entire lifecycle of any successful DER Flexibility Programme. From establishing a programme and enrolling resources, to dispatching event instructions through to measurement and verification.  

Some features of FlexPoint include: 

  • Registering resources and organisations offering Distributed Energy Resources 
  • Enables better visibility of assets to see what is operational and if there are any issues 
  • Manages and coordinates flexibility events 
  • Verifies which Distributed Energy Resources to call upon to meet needs 
  • Tracks and settles payments 
  • Enables seamless customer relationships, communications and contract management. 

Find out more:

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