The New DERMS: Using DERs to Support Grid Operations and Participate in the Wholesale Market

Utilities are realizing a growing portfolio of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) that include commercial and residential solar, battery storage, microgrids, and electric vehicles (EVs). The utility grid of the future will be much more complex and rely heavily on innovation and emerging technologies to manage grid operations. Utilities will require a single platform that provides visibility and control to assets at the very edge of the grid and use these assets for the benefit of the utility and utility customers. This Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) platform will involve multiple departments including field operations, renewable energy operations, customer support, Demand Response (DR), EV management, and microgrid management.

Using battery storage for load shifting or participation in the wholesale market is not a new concept. However, making use of storage in concert with solar power and EVs — along with demand management to support grid operations and participation in the market — changes the game. For example, EV charging and water heaters add new dynamics to utility operations. Using these technologies for load shifting and additionally permitting the utility to use these assets for frequency and voltage control is maximizing the use of DERs. 

Advancements in solar and storage technology will drive downward pressure on price, provide consumers with wider acceptance of these technologies, and have a significant impact on the grid. Not having an understanding of the assets (both capability and technology) that are being installed on the grid today will have an impact on future operations. Having a platform as the system of record for all of these assets will provide the required information to reduce loss from phase imbalances and manage voltage profiles for power quality. 

In this case, the right platform and technology partner proves to be crucial; for example, the platform should provide the utility an economic optimization strategy that offers charge schedules, shifts load, and receives price signals from the wholesale market. It should also allow grid operators’ visibility to behind-the-meter assets at the very edge of the grid and securely control these assets for the benefit of the asset owner and utility. 

What Does OATI Bring to the Table?
OATI’s webSmartEnergy™ DERMS solution has served numerous large Investor-Owned-Utility (IOU) and Municipal/Coop clients all throughout North America by effectively managing DERs and providing various grid services to the bulk power and wholesale market. This solution incorporates assets into a virtual power plant that can be optimized to improve cost-savings and grid reliability, as well as aggregate assets according to the needs of the utility. With OATI’s DERMS solution, Commercial & Industrial (C&I) and residential customers receive all the functionalities of a Demand Response Management System (DRMS) solution to control DR and successfully perform in the wholesale market. 

Learn more about the key features and benefits of webSmartEnergy™ DERMS by requesting the brochure here or contacting experts at

About the Author:
Mr. Robert Moody comes to Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI) with more than 21 years of experience in utility sales and account management. Mr. Moody is an Account Executive at OATI and focuses on large Investor-Owned-Utility (IOU) customers on the eastern half of the United States. Mr. Moody’s focus is working with electric utilities to connect generation, transmission, and demand-side resources to the wholesale energy markets, and provide solutions that allow utilities to optimize their power supply management efforts, manage the reliability needs of the grid, and fully harness the economic and social value of their assets.