Maximizing PV Value to the Grid through DER Aggregation
Jeffrey J. Cook, Energy Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
When many distributed energy resources (DERs) are aggregated and called upon to provide certain services simultaneously, they may provide the distribution grid with ancillary and other services that enhance reliability. These initiatives are often referred to as DER aggregation or virtual power plants. If nascent U.S. utility-led DER aggregation projects prove successful, new value streams could open for PV and other emerging DERs, thereby expanding deployment and transforming the energy market.

The literature on the scope, performance, and lessons learned from utility-led DER aggregation projects is limited. This presentation fills the research gap by surveying such programs nationwide and then analyzing five project case studies to compare lessons learned and identify common challenges and solutions that other utilities might consider when developing next-generation pilots and programs.