What the grid can learn from the internet

When will utilities finally unlock the full benefits of distributed energy resources?

The terms smart grid” and grid edge” have been used for years to refer to the digital layer of the electricity system that can help integrate more rooftop solar panels, EVs, smart meters and home batteries to avoid outages and save customers money.

But even with massive increases in computing power, utilities are still lagging when it comes to technology that can communicate with distributed energy resources, as well as the analytics to crunch all that data.

In this episode, the discussion centers on what the power grid can learn from the internet.

Guest host Lara Pierpoint talks to a person immersed deeply in both worlds. Astrid Atkinson is a former senior Google engineer specializing in distributed networks. She’s now co-founder and CEO of the grid software company Camus.

Lara and Astrid examine the areas where the grid desperately needs a digital upgrade. They also discuss concerns about giving utilities access to the technology to communicate with distributed energy resources and control over consumers’ devices.

Plus, Astrid and Lara cover the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 2222, the incentives that allow distributed energy resources to participate in electricity markets, and the underappreciated role of electric co-ops in testing out new grid-edge technologies. 

Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antenna​group​.com to learn more.

Catalyst is supported by Nextracker. Nextracker’s technology platform has delivered more than 50 gigawatts of zero-emission solar power plants across the globe. Nextracker is developing a data-driven framework to become the most sustainable solar tracker company in the world — with a focus on a truly transparent supply chain. Visit nex​track​er​.com/​s​u​s​t​a​i​n​a​b​ility to learn more.