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Word of the Day: Distributed Generation

November 11, 2014 by Alexis Powers

What do solar industry professionals mean when they talk about "distributed generation"? A general definition of distributed generation, or DG, is an electric power source that is located at or near the point of consumption. Other terms that may be used to convey the same idea include "dispersed generation" or "decentralized generation."

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on a homeowner's rooftop or a group of modules that make up a ground-mounted community solar garden would both be examples of DG. Essentially, any power source that is not part of a centralized power plant could be considered DG.

A recent NREL report on the Costs and Benefits of Distributed Generation states that the rapid growth in the amount of distributed generation shows no signs of slowing. We will be blogging more about that soon, so stay tuned for a deeper discussion of how DG impacts the utility and electricity generation system.