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EPRI and NREL Develop Standard Messaging to Facilitate DER Communication and Control

May 13, 2015

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and tested a standard messaging platform for distributed energy resources (DER)--solar panels, wind turbines, microgrids, and battery storage--that use smart inverters to connect to the grid.

The new system, called a Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS), would enable DER to "communicate" with other systems, providing information about demand, supply, and use of electricity. The DERMS system also provides a way for grid operators to more effectively manage the generation and dispatch of electricity.

"DERMS represents a significant development toward fully accommodating and integrating distributed resources in the planning and operations of the electric system," said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of Power Delivery & Energy Utilization at EPRI. "It will facilitate making the best and fullest use of both central and distributed energy resources."

"In the near future, DERMS will allow operators to communicate with and control large numbers of emerging resources on the distribution system to help the grid adjust to the peaks and valleys of demand and supply," said Bryan Palmintier, senior research engineer in Energy Systems Integration at NREL. "However, achieving this vision will require DERMS to work seamlessly with other utility systems."

Read more from EPRI.

—Devonie McCamey