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by Jeff St. John
December 07, 2018

U.S. utilities have spent the past half decade experimenting with different technologies and methodologies to aggregate distributed energy resources.

So how are these technologies being aggregated and integrated into virtual power plants?

The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has identified 23 virtual power plant projects across the country. Each project has a unique set of goals and mix of technologies designed to unlock new value streams for the customers and companies that are deploying them.

But how do these efforts compare to each other? To date, there has been little research on the “scope, performance, and lessons learned from utility-led DER aggregation projects,” according to a new report from NREL aimed at solving that problem. The 37-page report takes a close look at five specific DER aggregation projects to “compare lessons learned and identify common challenges and solutions that other utilities might consider when developing next-generation pilots and programs.”