The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) has issued a whitepaper discussing ways in which utilities are deferring traditional distribution grid investments with investments in distributed energy resources (DER).
The whitepaper DER and the No-Wires Solutions Opportunity outlines how US states have advanced non-wires solutions to provide power and meet system needs where and when they are needed most.
SEIA highlights the need for utilities to improve the grid planning process and tailor DER deployment mechanisms to capture the opportunity presented by non-wires solutions.
The whitepaper shows how utilities can benefit from grid modernisation in regard to improving grid management and keeping consumer energy bills affordable.
Sean Gallagher, SEIA's vice president of state affairs, commented: "Today, customers are increasingly seeking more control of their own energy, and with the rapidly falling cost of solar power, utilities are realising the traditional business model needs to change.
"By strategically modernising the electric grid, distributed energy resources like solar can flourish and provide reliable, low-cost power and grid services to consumers and utilities alike."
Stephen Kalland, executive director of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, added: "Most importantly, the report discusses how rate design can support these solutions, how utility business models must be modernised to fairly evaluate non-wires solutions, and how planning processes should be evolved to consider these solutions."
"As the cost of new technologies continues to decline, and the power industry becomes increasingly sophisticated, opportunities are growing for non-wires solutions to deliver economic, environmental and individual consumer benefits," said Tanuj Deora, executive vice president and chief content officer of the Smart Electric Power Alliance.
"SEIA's white paper identifies the potential to accelerate evaluation and deployment of these alternatives, as well as the need to further develop industry best practices for enhanced system planning, and the market mechanisms to make non-wires solutions a reality," Deora explained.
The whitepaper is SEIA's fifth and final paper in the organisation's whitepaper series Improving Opportunities for Solar Through Grid Modernization.
The whitepaper can be downloaded here...