GE Digital’s DER Orchestration 2.0 Helps Utilities Manage and Coordinate More Renewable Imports onto the Grid

By Craig Resnick

Company and Product News

GE Digital unveiled a new version of its DER Orchestration software to help enable electric utilities to manage and orchestrate Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in an end-to-end manner via more flexible deployment options ranging from Edge to Cloud.  DERs are either electric energy producing or storing resources or controllable loads that are connected to an electric distribution system.  As part of GE Digital’s Grid software portfolio, DER Orchestration 2.0 provides operators with many of the requisite tools and situational intelligence to help recognize developing situations and act quicker and more decisively, helping to orchestrate greater flexibility across the grid for both utility and non-utility DERs, while helping to create new revenue streams.

DERs can include solar panels, wind turbines, combined heat and power plants, electricity energy storage, small natural gas-fueled generators, electric vehicles and many types of controllable loads, such as HVAC systems and electric water heaters.  Increasing levels of DERs are impacting electric utilities’ safe and efficient delivery of electricity.  Operations are challenged to more effectively utilize both utility-owned and third-party owned DERs due to limited visibility.  Effective management of DERs requires modeling and awareness of physical and contractual characteristics, and locations throughout a broad range of applications, spanning planning and operational domains.

DER Orchestration 2.0 helps electrical grid operators address two key challenges: intermittency and dispersion.  Intermittency presents a problem for utilities as the energy injected or withdrawn by DERs is intermittent, with flow tied to how the wind blows and the sun shines, as well as how prosumers want to consume/generate/store energy for their DER-related housing, transportation or energy efficiency services.  The fact that DERs are geographically dispersed across the distribution grid further complicates matters.  GE Digital’s solution helps to enable operators to anticipate potential violations DERs could cause by processing historical data and explanatory variables to generate forecasts of load and intermittent generation from DERs, as well as identify location, severity and timing of potential reliability issues.

The DER Orchestration Forecasting module provides additional algorithms to help further expand a utility’s ability to anticipate potential grid violations despite the intermittency of renewables and DERs.  New algorithms for the forecasting of wind turbine generation sites mix provides a balance of physical forecasting and machine learning.  Machine learning helps to enable utilities to factor in any real-life bias that may exist between wind and weather patterns and a wind generator’s actual generation output, while physical forecasting helps to enable utilities to represent wind turbines’ rare limit “behaviors,” such as high wind cut-offs.

In addition, the Forecast Adaptation functionality helps to enable users to tune the forecasts (load, photovoltaics or wind) to real-time measurements in case a systematic bias is detected during the latest minutes of operation.  Finally, an enhanced modeling capability helps to enable utilities to address more use cases of Forecasting across Transmission and Distribution (T&D) which can be essential to address the coordination required for DERs.

DER Orchestration 2.0 also provides a gateway enabling the ADMS to communicate with DERs via a comprehensive industry open standard for DER communications: the IEEE 2030.5 protocol.

DER Orchestration 2.0, part of GE Digital’s ADMS solution, is now generally available.

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