Integrating Distributed Energy Resources
Our utility, Southern California Edison (SCE), is working to incorporate more clean energy into the grid every day. This includes distributed energy resources, such as solar. Distributed energy resources – small-scale local resources, often installed at a customer’s home or business – can help meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, help customers reduce electricity use and support grid reliability.
Leading the Nation in Solar
Our utility has a long and proud history of solar innovation and growth. Every day, SCE is working together with customers to create a clean energy future. Since 2007, SCE has ranked in the top-10 utilities in delivering solar to its customers.
Facts at a Glance
Electric Access System Enhancement project
SCE's Electric Access System Enhancement project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. SunShot is a national program to better integrate solar into the electrical grid.
EASE will increase the communication between all the companies and individuals that have a part in connecting a solar project to the grid. This includes SCE, the solar contractor, the local permitting authority and the customer. A new single online entry point will demonstrate how to streamline the interconnection process. As a result, the permitting, approval and the physical connection process would be faster and simpler.
With multiple sources of generation connecting to the grid, it is important to ensure the grid maintains a steady power flow at the local level. EASE will also allow SCE’s substation control system to communicate with distributed energy resources, such as solar, to maintain the needed flow.
Ultimately this demonstration project is expected to reduce interconnection time and increase solar and other DER adoption.
Integrated Grid Project
The Integrated Grid Project is a demonstration project that is testing software to "smooth out" the power supply when Distributed Energy Resources, such as solar or energy storage, are integrated with SCE’s infrastructure.
A smoother power flow on circuits and in substations will help avoid the need for major upgrades. It will also ensure that customers have proper voltage. To do this, the software will communicate with the DER, either directly or through a DER aggregator that pools multiple DER resources. The software then determines how best to operate the DER on a circuit. SCE can then work with customers to more efficiently manage the grid.
A field demonstration of this system will take place on a circuit in the southern Santa Ana region later in 2018. A full-scale implementation is expected a few years later.
Harnessing the Potential of Distributed Energy Resources}
To facilitate the transformation to a clean energy future, the local power grid must become a plug-and-play platform that integrates an ever-growing set of DER technologies.
To achieve that, utilities will need to expand their capabilities as Distribution System Operators (DSOs) that plan and manage a modernized plug-and-play grid. By connecting to this platform, DER owners access a grid that supports their needs as customers and markets that increase the value of their investment.
These massive changes to the grid and markets will take time — possibly more than a decade — to accomplish. But, if utilities, regulators, and distributed energy providers come together now with a sense of urgency, the foundation developing now will be established by the turn of the decade.
Looking for a Letter of Support or Commitment?
Our utility, Southern California Edison, collaborates with many organizations to support innovation in the areas of renewable sources of energy, grid optimization, and energy storage. If you are working on a project of this nature and need a letter of support or commitment for a California Energy Commission EPIC proposal, DOE or other funding source proposal, we may be able to help.