12 Sep 2023
Grid controls provider PXiSE Energy Solutions (“PXiSE”), a Yokogawa company, launched its new cloud-native DER Management and Communication Platform which will simplify utilities’ ability to monitor and manage customer distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar PV and battery storage.
“Before now, utilities have been reluctant to open the floodgates on customer distributed energy resources like solar PV and battery storage because they were unable to monitor when or how much power they’re contributing to the grid” said Tim Allen, PXiSE President & CEO. “This tool, which works securely over the internet, gives them the visibility and management they need.”
PXiSE took advantage of Microsoft Azure Application Services to speed development and deployment of the platform and expedite time to market. Azure Application Insights enabled rapid and thorough testing and offers a layer of security important to utility customers, while auto-scaling allows the product to grow along with our customers’ needs.
“By taking advantage of the Microsoft Cloud, PXiSE’s platform positions utility users to easily scale as more DERs are added to their grids,” said Bilal Khursheed, Microsoft Worldwide Power & Utilities Leader.
With the number of customer-owned DERs ever rising, utilities are increasingly faced with tough choices, including denying customers the ability to add solar PV or storage because of the risk to the grid’s stability. The electrical grid was originally designed as a one-way conduit for electricity to run from a utility’s generating station to a customer. Transmission wires were designed for a maximum capacity determined by the utility and as consumers add additional capacity by generating their own power, this maximum capacity could be exceeded and destabilize the grid, leading to power fluctuations and outages.
These constraints are what led PXiSE customer WEL Networks to pilot the DER Management and Communication Platform. “This platform is a potential game-changer for us,” said Gary Carleton, Senior DSO Project Engineer at WEL Networks, “We’re looking at using more precise data about how, when, and where customer DERs are impacting our power network to better manage our infrastructure, and can manage customer resources within our current network constraints.”
In the past, utilities had no way to measure and monitor how much additional power customer DERs were adding to the grid, and out of an abundance of caution needed to prevent excessive connections until additional transmission wire capacity could be added. The PXiSE DER Management and Communication Platform provides utilities with the visibility they need as to where, when and how much customer DERs are impacting the grid.
Through its user-friendly interface, the PXiSE platform enables utilities to register, monitor, and organize customer DERs and schedule their dispatch. With this level of visibility and management, utilities can comfortably add increasing numbers of customer-owned renewables to the grid and are better informed about how much generation to add from utility-owned assets to maintain a balanced grid. The platform enables network modeling as well as future planning and optimization of the entire grid.
The cloud-native platform uses the IEEE 2030.5 standard protocol to communicate to customer devices over the internet. 2030.5 was purpose-built as a future-proof Internet of Things (IoT) protocol with broad applicability to a range of consumer devices and inverters and was adopted by California’s Public Utility Commission as the default communications protocol for linking DERs with power grid operations in June 2016.
PXiSE’s cloud-native DER Management and Communication Platform has been vetted in pre-release pilots and is available now on Azure Marketplace.
PXiSE Energy Solutions | https://pxise.com/