The software and technology guiding energy procurement and grid operation have always been complex investments. And the landscape has been adapting to new complexity: leveraging distributed energy resources.

California's Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM) and New York's Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) program provide examples of how vendors are helping to address these challenges.

Here, GTM Research grid edge and storage analysts provide insight into lesser-known vendors who won bids in these programs and how they plan to integrate DERs.

FIGURE: Grid Edge DER Services Deployments by Con Edison, SCE, SDG&E and PG&E, 2016

Source: Grid Edge Data Hub

1. Swell

Committed to: Preferred Resources Pilot with Southern California Edison

Commitment details: 5 megawatts/20 megawatt-hours

Swell is part of Southern California Edison’s second Preferred Resources Pilot, providing energy to several areas of Orange County. The company provides and installs storage packages for residential consumers. It is expected to register 3,000 homes in Orange County, California with a combination of lithium-ion battery and software system for the home. The implemented storage systems will discharge during peak demand periods, providing electricity to homes without pulling from the grid.

GTM Storage Analyst Brett Simon: "Swell is notable for receiving the only residential energy storage award under the PRP. Lack of clearly monetizable value streams has been an impediment for the growth of residential storage in the U.S., and thus financiers are hesitant to back residential projects today. Proving the value of residential storage via a program like the PRP may lead to further opportunities for leveraging Swell’s model under other utility programs."

2. Digital Energy Corp

Committed to: BQDM auction with Con Edison

Commitment details: Unknown

Digital provides combined heat and power (CHP) owners with operational support, regulatory support, financial analysis and other services.

Grid Edge Senior Analyst Andrew Mulherkar: "As the fourth-largest state market for CHP, New York is in a position to leverage CHP resources for value to the grid. CHP owners have already found significant value in existing DR programs -- in 2014 Montefiore Medical Center’s CHP resources helped it earn $140,000 in revenue from the New York ISO’s demand response programs. Now, Digital Energy Corp is enabling CHP resources to provide more targeted benefits to the grid, in the case of the specific locational requirements of the Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management program."

3. OhmConnect

Committed to: DRAM 2016 and 2017

Commitment details: More than 16 megawatts of DRAM capacity

OhmConnect’s software platform and business model aggregates and adjusts energy usage in real-time and sells energy reductions back to the market. The company won more than 16 megawatts of DRAM capacity in both residential and non-residential projects in Southern California Edison territory, SDG&E and PG&E for both 2016 and 2017 pilots.

Grid Edge Analyst Elta Kolo: "A registered demand response provider in both CAISO and PJM territory, OhmConnect brings wholesale flexibility benefits directly to the customer. At a market level, OhmConnect monetizes aggregate flexibility directly in the day-ahead and real-time markets. Additionally, the company engages directly with customers by calling on them to reduce usage during its #Ohmhours events."


Regulators, utilities, and cutting-edge companies will gather at California's Distributed Energy Future 2017, taking place in San Francisco March 8-9. Learn more here.


You can explore past and current deployments and partnerships through the Grid Edge Data Hub, which covers thousands of deployments across all grid edge technologies and markets, including:

  • AMI
  • Customer energy management
  • DER services
  • Distribution automation
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Grid edge customer analytics
  • Grid edge network analytics
  • Utility back office
  • Utility network operations

Email [email protected] for more information.

Join GTM for actionable conversations on the future of electricity in our nation's most innovative state. California's Distributed Energy Future 2017 will be held in San Francisco, March 8-9. Learn more here.