Energy Management Systems: Using EMS to Support Distributed Energy Resources
Forester Daily News
From the March-April 2017 Issue
By: Carol Brzozowski
Michael Bakas, senior vice president for Ameresco, notes that the energy market is heading more towards a distributed model. Today’s control systems have become more intelligent, enabling end-users to connect different distributed energy assets and select loads to shed in order to balance the availability of the supply—especially during utility supply outages—to which they have access, he says, adding that that yields a number of “microgrid-type” benefits.
The current trend emanates from the aftermath of environmental challenges such as Superstorm Sandy, says Bakas, adding that “In the Northeast, we’re seeing many clients looking to develop these types of projects for resiliency purposes.”
Microgrids increase local reliability through the integration of redundant distribution systems, storage systems, power generation, and smart technologies, Bakas points out, adding that with power outages costing the US economy billions of dollars annually, distributed energy allows systems to increase reliability while potentially saving money by procuring power in real time at lower costs, while using local generation to hedge peak power costs.
“Local systems can be more efficient,” he says. “In addition, it reduces the distance energy has to travel. Thus, there are fewer line losses and lower costs from congestion pricing—especially during peak periods—and in some cases, it generates revenue.”