DER Task Force September Newsletter
September 2021 Edition
Announcements + Updates
We held our inaugural policy meeting on September 14th and had great participation from over 20 DER Task Force members across the country. During the session, we began to flesh out the core principles that will anchor any advocacy the DER Task Force engages in, discussed the foundations of a white paper, and brainstormed ways to prioritize the myriad policy issues we could potentially address. Our next meeting will be Tuesday October 5th - if you’re interested in getting involved, check out the #dertf_policy channel for details.
Following the devastation of Hurricane Ida earlier this month, the DER Task Force put together a fundraiser for Footprint Project to bring mobile microgrids down to NOLA, where millions were left without power following the storm. Over $60K and lots of Tweets later, Footprint Project, Springlane Capital, and yours truly the DER Task Force have teamed up to establish the Footprint Resilience Fund, which will provide ongoing funding for mobile microgrids and resilient power sources to communities hit hard by natural disaster. You can check out the official press release here to learn more.
New swag launched! One of these shirts was inspired by the original Energy Task Force, which built a wind turbine in the middle of Manhattan in the 1970s and challenged the regulatory status quo. We hosted a meetup with Travis Price, one of the brains behind the Energy Task Force, back in 2019 and you can watch that here. And check the full swag kit here!
From the community
The DER TF Difference
Wanted to share a cool anecdote about the power of the DER TF community. As you know, we have a job board through which members can share opportunities with other members. This month, one of DER TF’s own got a job thanks to a conversation with another DER TF member! Congrats to Vibhuti Agarwal on her new role with Kevala, and thanks to Troy Hodges for making the connection and demonstrating what DER TF is all about.
If anyone else has found their next role through the Task Force, we’d love to hear about it!
DER TF member McGee Young wrote a great blog post on the carbon intensity of the grid during a heat wave, how it differs by balancing region, and some key steps needed to understand and enable decarbonization of the grid in the future. The piece sparked a great conversation in the #reports_studies_etc channel which I recommend you check out. And if you are ever writing something and want to share, there are always willing readers in the Task Force excited to take a look!
Thread of the Month
DER TF members in the #technology channel discussed whether behind-the-meter assets could participate in energy markets and receive compensation for participation without involving the owner-meter under which the asset sits.
Key takeaways from the thread below:
Australia appears to have this problem solved particularly well. In that market, instead of just a utility meter acting as the source of truth, sub-meters that are components of a nested network can also act as reliable data for the market. American ISOs and RTOs ought to take note!
In the US, the utility meter is still the source of truth for usage data, and thus in this scenario the owner-meter would obfuscate any responses to energy markets made by subsystems of or standalone BTM assets. As a result, assets housed under an owner-meter can’t truly capture the value of their independent responses to market signals.
A very small number of utility programs in the US will allow alternative data sources (i.e. battery inverters) to act as source of truth for the utility’s use cases, but as of yet no ISO or RTO allows such a thing. As DERs and demand response proliferate, allowing finer measurement of the different nodes within a single system (i.e. under a single utility meter) will be key to fairly compensating such activities.
Check out the #technology channel for more great conversations with fellow DERTFers!
What we’re reading
Two related pieces brought to you by the community:
A Canary Media feature on Project Edge in Australia run by Jesse Morris, Task Force member and CEO of the Energy Web Foundation. Project Edge aims to test blockchain applications for the massive coordination problems that arise with more and more DERs on the grid.
Following up on that piece, Jesse Morris shared the inside perspective on the work being done in Australia, including the key lessons the US ought to learn from how the Aussie grid is integrating more DERs.
Want to read more? Join the #news channel in the Slack. Did we miss a piece? Let us know about it here.
Volta Charging is hiring for positions across the board but specifically called out the Utility Solutions Specialist role. Reach out to Brad Crist with questions about this role or others on the Careers page, and find the role application here.
Don’t worry, there are way more jobs than listed above - find our full job board here and be sure to join the #jobs channel in Slack.
Have a job and want to share? Fill out this form to get it in our database.
DER of the Month
Here’s a high-impact DER powering a medical tent, set up by Footprint Project in Louisiana.
Thanks for reading!
— DER Task Force Leadership Team