Customer Stories

3 Capabilities G&T Co-ops Need To Manage DERs

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Last Updated: 
October 25, 2022

Over the past year, we spoke with leaders at forward-thinking generation and transmission providers to get a read on how they’re tackling the evolution of the G&T business model – and where DERs fit in.

From one interview to the next, we heard a vision of DERs playing a meaningful role in lowering total system costs and balancing variable power supply. Local generation and demand-side flexibility, G&T leaders suggested, could help shift peak demand and benefit the broader system – but only if the G&T can reliably call upon them to do so.

Naturally, we asked what G&Ts would need to make that vision a reality. Here’s what we heard: 

Ask #1: Visibility into distribution grid data

First, G&Ts asked for real-time visibility of their distribution members’ relevant data aggregated at the Transmission-Distribution substations. The G&Ts want to respect the autonomy of their member co-ops, but they need visibility to inform where and how they can safely call upon DERs. That doesn’t mean peeking behind every member-consumer’s meter, but it does mean having access to aggregated information where the transmission and distribution grids connect.

Pairing real-time, aggregated visibility with historical data and forecasts would provide vital context to G&Ts about distribution-level conditions and how DERs can be optimally dispatched for peak management, resilience, and other grid services. This in turn can help G&Ts lower capacity, transmission and energy costs while prioritizing the dispatch of the cleanest and most cost-effective assets.

Ask #2: Ability to call upon DERs with grid awareness

G&Ts asked next for a way to easily orchestrate DERs, in coordination with their member co-ops, to provide strategic, low-cost grid services. Importantly, these controls capabilities should be grid-aware – meaning they take into account local grid conditions and constraints. While it’s possible for G&Ts to dispatch DERs without distribution grid visibility, doing so can have negative impacts on voltage and power quality, creating safety and reliability risks.

The G&Ts we spoke with made it clear that they want to take informed, safe steps to leverage DERs in a way that optimizes at the system level while respecting distribution-level constraints. 

Ask #3: Tools to empower their member co-ops 

Last but not least, G&T providers asked that their co-op members gain access to the same DERMS capabilities that are made available to the G&T, including real-time visibility, accurate system-wide forecasts, and DER control. Unlike the aggregated G&T view, the distribution co-op would gain near real-time visibility from the T-D interface all the way down to specific behind-the-meter devices. Better visibility helps co-op teams work together to balance cost, reliability, resilience, and member choice – leading to improve performance overall.

By helping deliver visibility and control technology to members, G&Ts can position themselves as forward-looking technology partners and advisors – increasing the long-term value of G&T membership while gaining safe, reliable access to local flexibility.

Where Camus comes in

Our team is committed to helping G&Ts and their member cooperatives work together to leverage distributed energy resources for the benefit of all. Our software leverages the power of AI and cloud computing to provide value-based, vendor-agnostic, and grid-aware orchestration for distribution co-ops and their G&T providers.

For G&Ts, we deliver:

  • Net load and DER data aggregated at any substation, member co-op, and system-wide
  • AI-powered forecasts for supply and demand, including coincident peaks
  • Available flexibility by DER type (EVs, solar PV, batteries, etc.)
  • Day-ahead scheduling and real-time controls for DERs
  • Scalable platform for coordinated DER management with member co-ops

Ultimately, we believe that DER management provides an opportunity for G&Ts and their members to usher in a new era of collaboration – delivering more affordable, reliable, and sustainable power to co-op communities.

Interested in learning more about how your G&T can benefit from coordinated DER management?

Sign-up for our G&T mini-series or reach out to our team today.

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