All Things DER: How a Microgrid Can Provide Valuable Insight Into the Future of DER

by Dr. Elizabeth Cook, General Manager of Advanced Grid Solutions, Duquesne Light Company

Welcome to the All Things DER podcast! In this podcast, we’ll be digging in, defining, and discussing where the new energy economy is heading with electric industry leaders, and explore all the ways that distributed energy resources can modernize and improve our ever-evolving power grid.

In today’s episode of All Things DER, we’re talking with Bobby Hawthorne, the Distribution Engineering Service Manager at Alabama Power. We discuss the impact the first residential home microgrid project has had on the future of DER, and how we can continually utilize these research and development projects to better understand the future of the power grid. From discovering increased reliability factors to uncovering unique ways to observe load management practices for residential homes, we cover a wide array of topics that have the potential to positively impact and move us forward to developing an increasingly reliable power grid of the future.

Here’s what you’ll discover:

  • How Alabama Power developed the first microgrid of its kind, and what they’ve learned so far
  • Why a vertically integrated system allows for unique opportunities to collaborate across the generation, transmission, and distribution sectors of the industry
  • How the use of an island mode function led to increased reliability for residential customers during the microgrid project
  • How the ability of the microgrid project to understand customer behaviors and load management firsthand was a unique opportunity
  • Why continuing these types of projects will be beneficial to implementing new DER in the future
  • Why outages can still occur in a microgrid, and ways of solving these problems
  • How a well-grounded system is a crucial aspect for developing a high performing microgrid