Lower-cost batteries, connected devices, intermittent energy resources such as solar, and the rise of the prosumer are contributing to an increase in interconnected distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs are small energy-generation units on the consumer side of the meter that collect data from demand response, solar energy, energy storage, electric vehicles, or other distributed technologies. Power and utility companies need new sets of tools to optimize the near-real-time information that DERs provide. Machine learning, the capabilities of the Internet of Things, and big data analytics from Amazon Web Services (AWS) help companies extract insights from millions of residential, commercial, and other assets. Utility companies can use AWS solutions to optimize the grid for stability, sustainability, cost, and safety while maximizing the life cycle of integrated DERs by securely connecting to and controlling equipment and devices. A distributed energy resources management system (DERMS) simplifies the management of these disparate systems by acting as a switchboard for DER-related protocols and information. A DERMS feeds information into other utility backend systems for planning, operations, and customer engagement. DERMSs fulfill many other functions as well. Aggregation combines DERs into grid-wide resources to simplify the control, monitoring, and management of systems. Simplification streamlines settings and data. Automation involves the use of algorithms to take actions, often in coordination with a distribution management system (DMS). And coordination supplies operational information to the DMS for individual or aggregated DER assets.
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