On June 10, 2015, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) issued a proposal to allow small-scale distributed energy resources (DERs), such as rooftop solar, storage, and electric vehicles, to be aggregated and bid into the grid. If approved, California would become the first state to integrate and manage small-scale DERs in a fashion similar to larger utility-scale renewable resources.
If the CAISO rule is approved, it would make California the first in the country to operationally address some of the issues that behind-the-meter resources present to grid operators, primarily the visibility of behind-the-meter resources and their control. By creating DERPs to manage these challenges, California’s approach promises to be instructive to other grid operators’ efforts to bring DERs into the grid and may usher in a new era of grid-connected services, such as home automation and electric vehicle charging systems.
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