Identifying Distributed Energy Resource Research and Development Opportunities:

Gridworks is pleased to announce the California Energy Commission’s Staff Workshop on the Distributed Energy Resources Technical Assessment (Draft) in Sacramento on March 25th. This is an EPIC funded program being led by a team including Navigant Consulting, Gregg Ander, and Gridworks. 

California Energy Commission staff, in consultation with Navigant Consulting, Inc., will conduct a workshop to provide background information on the publicly released Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Roadmap Draft Technical Assessment and to solicit feedback from DER providers, aggregators, developers, researchers, utilities, and end users. Discussion will be on challenges in the market and a variety of potential research topics, as well as to identify the status of DER technologies and strategies today and the barriers currently limiting DERs.

Gridworks will also be hosting several additional workshops to further develop the content of this Technical Assessment in the near future. Details and more information will be available on the Gridworks DER Research Roadmap page.

PG&E Bankruptcy and potential impacts 
on our shared decarbonization goals:

On March 7 Gridworks held its first Happy Hour of 2019. The topic of the discussion was focused on the PG&E Bankruptcy and potential impacts on our shared decarbonization goals.

The conversation was both educational and reassuring.

The core takeaways from the event were as follows:

  • We identified at least three risks to our decarbonization goals stemming from the bankruptcy:
    • Electric rates could increase substantially, slowing building decarbonization objectives by pushing customers away from renewable electricity to natural gas.
    • Some ways of restructuring PG&E could diminish the company’s (or successor companies) responsiveness to a progressive decarbonization agenda.
    • While utilities are unlikely to backtrack on existing RPS contracts or public goods programs, new expenses and experiments to further decarbonization may face headwinds.
  • We identified at least two opportunities:
    • Expedite utility business model reforms that could ease renewable and DER integration, capex incentives.
    • Test DER as contributors to reliability and resiliency.

Please see the a similarly themed op-ed on this topic from Happy Hour participant Ric O’Connell (Gridlab), Mark Ferron, and Lorenzo Kristov here.

Gridworks will monitor the ongoing bankruptcy developments. We invite your perspective and engagement on this critical issue.