All Things DER: How Asking the Right Questions and Seeking Collaboration is Key for Embracing 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, we’re talking with Raynetta Marshall, the Chief Operating Officer at JEA, a municipally-owned, not-for-profit multi-services utility serving the Jacksonville, Florida area. We discuss how the importance of asking the right questions and getting all departments on board is crucial to preparing for new DER while also ensuring reliability and resiliency across the grid. From seeking collaborative opportunities from outside experts to integrating customer assets, we dig into a variety of ways utility companies can plan and prepare for the current changes we’re seeing in advancing technologies and grid modernization.

Here’s what you’ll discover:

  • Why serving their customers through reliability, affordability, and sustainability is the foundation of operation at JEA, and how DER is a part of that mission
  • How concluding an integrated resources planning process and conducting readiness assessments are setting the direction for how JEA will provide services and resources for their customers
  • How each area of utility, from customer incentives to proper planning to ensuring reliability, is integral in incorporating DER for building for the future
  • Why asking the right questions plays an integral role in kick starting this new process of incorporating DER
  • Why looking at opportunities to build partnerships with the customers who incorporate new DER, from solar to EV, is crucial to ensure resiliency across the grid
  • How a change in organizational structure with the addition of an entire DER department is setting the stage for embracing grid modernization at JEA