The technology to create virtual power plants made up of distributed energy resources (DERs) is here. They can replace conventional, fossil-fueled power plants and enable a cleaner, cheaper and more resilient grid. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) delivered a boost in 2020. Its Order 2222 allows aggregations of DERs to participate in wholesale electricity markets through sales of power and participation in Demand Response (DR), capacity and ancillary services markets.
This is a promising start. But just allowing DER participation won’t realize the full potential of virtual power plants.
To learn how distribution systems operators (DSOs) can realize the full potential of aggregated DERs, read the full op-ed by our CEO, Astrid Atkinson, Dr. Varun Sivaram, senior research scholar at Columbia University, and Richard L. Kauffman, chairman of NYSERDA.