Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)
Their Emerging Role in Grid Management
June 10, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

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Across the country, utilities are increasingly “inheriting” and hosting larger numbers of grid-interactive, ‘smart’ distributed energy resources (DERs).  These DERs range from electric vehicle chargers to controllable air conditioners to water heaters – often aggregated and remotely controlled to create a dispatchable resource. 

To utilities and grid operators, DERs have often been seen as nuisances to system awareness, security and stability.  Yet, they have the potential to greatly improve the overall flexibility of the power grid and energy markets. Plus, they can provide value in a number of different ways, such as: grid balancing, peak demand management, demand response and grid infrastructure support or replacement. They can also greatly help in the effort to integrate the surge of intermittent, clean renewables coming on to the power system. Still, if not properly coordinated with other technologies and safeguarded against cyber-intrusion, DERs can de-stabilize the grid.

This course explores the growing opportunities for realizing value from grid-interactive DERs.  It evaluates specific projects, costs and use cases to illustrate how utilities and grid operators can harvest this value. The course also examines the vulnerabilities that DERs introduce to the power system and identifies the manner in which these can be addressed and mitigated.  Finally, future prospects for increased deployment of DERs are outlined with a view towards how they can properly be managed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify DER technologies – cost and performance
  • Assess grid-interactive DER system stability risks and challenges
  • Examine value of DERs as a resource in utility portfolio and integrated resource (IRP) planning
  • Evaluate other, non-DER grid management options to increase system flexibility
  • Review DER grid management program design, customer engagement, pricing and products
  • Explore DER grid management policy and rate structures
  • Assess DER grid management safeguards and measures to identify and mitigate grid stability risks and challenges
  • Identify DER grid management cyber-security issues
  • Discuss how to capitalize on DER grid management opportunities and reducing risks moving forward



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.8 CEUs for this event.


Requirements For Successful Completion Of Program

Participants must login for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.


Wednesday, June 10, 2020 – Central Time

8:30 – 9:00 am :: Registration and Sign-On

9:00 – 9:15 am :: Overview and Introductions

9:15 am – 12:30 pm :: Program Content

(includes two breaks)

The Big Picture – DER History, Applications, and Advancing Role

  • Trends and shifts in electricity markets – drivers for change
  • Benefits of DERs
  • Grid efficiencies
  • Grid reliability
  • Customer cost management/flexibility
  • Integration of renewables and carbon mitigation strategies

DER Technologies – Cost and Performance

  • Technical fundamentals – how they work  
  • Facilitating technologies
  • Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)
  • Aggregation and remote monitoring/dispatch capabilities
  • Smart inverters
  • Types of DER resources and use cases
  • Controllable loads
  • On-site generation
  • EV chargers
  • Solar installations
  • Batteries
  • Thermal storage (ice and other media)
  • Commercial building HVAC and controls

Grid-Interactive DER System Stability Risks and Challenges

  • Transparency in the system and the need for timely information flows
  • Too much of a good thing?
  • Coordination among DER resource(s), utilities, grid operators

Valuing DERs as a Resource in Utility Portfolio and Integrated Resource (IRP) Planning

  • Determining optimal levels and values for DSM applications
  • DER best planning practices for grid operations to accommodate variable renewables and distributed energy resources (DER) Resource analysis
  • Understanding DER potential, limitations today and tomorrow
  • Costs and performance – current status and projections
  • How many DERs can be accommodated at points across the distribution system?
  • How many DERs will be required at points across distribution system?
  • Power system planning requirements for achieving successful integration of DSM tools

Evaluating Other Grid Management Options to Increase System Flexibility

  • Wholesale market design
  • Distribution time-of-use rates
  • Flexible generation
  • Utility-scale storage

DER Grid Management Program Design, Customer Engagement, Pricing & Products

  • Motivating increased customer participation in DER programs
  • Effectively designing products and programs with pricing and technology
  • Evaluating the right technologies (and desired quantities) for customer programs
  • The critical need for timely, accurate, market-based locational information

12:30 – 1:15 pm :: Lunch Break

1:15 – 5:15 pm :: Program Content

(includes two breaks)

DER Grid Management Policy and Rate Structures

  • Understanding the policy landscape relevant to DER operations and tools
  • How policy helps (or hinders) DERs
  • Policy drivers
  • Federal
  • State and local

DERs and the Evolving Grid

  • An evolving grid architecture to accommodate bi-directional flows
  • Monitoring and power quality concerns
  • The potential for a localized synchrophasor approach
  • DERs as a low-cost, grid flexibility resource that offers high levels of optionality

Building in DER Grid Management Safeguards and Measures to Identify and Mitigate Grid Stability Risks and Challenges

  • Software platforms
  • System protection measures
  • Improving localized asset visibility to control rooms

DER Grid Management Cyber-security Issues

  • Risks of connecting IT to an OT environment
  • The lessons from the Ukraine and other warnings
  • The need to cyber-harden
  • Recent approaches

Capitalizing on DER Grid Management Opportunities and Reducing Risks Moving Forward

  • The value of creating a formal regulatory process to identify risks and opportunities related to the growth of DERs
  • The importance of developing a data access and governance policy for security and dispute settlement
  • The need for thorough modeling of adding new assets and implications
  • Evaluation of required coordination and visibility for control rooms in bulk power systems and distribution utilities


Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Principal, NorthBridge Partners

Peter Kelly-Detwiler advises technology companies and customers concerning the integration of energy-consuming and producing assets into the power grid. He has nearly 30 years’ experience in the electric energy industry, including 15 of those years as an executive in competitive retail markets.  He has served various functions within the industry, including as director of customer care (east coast) for NewEnergy Ventures. Prior to NorthBridge, he was senior vice president of Constellation Energy’s load response group.  He created that unit and oversaw its growth to become a business with approximately $80 million in revenue, capable of dispatching 1700 MW of customer load.  While at Constellation, Mr. Kelly-Detwiler was the “go-to” person to teach new hires the Energy 101 class, explaining restructured markets and the employees’ role within that context. 

Online Delivery

Our courses are designed to be the best possible use of your valuable time – get the information you need to improve your position in the market in an interactive, dynamic format.

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time. 
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

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