Monitor, Manage, and Coordinate DR/DER Assets with Hierarchical DERMS Solution

With the increasing adoption of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in front and behind the meter and their incorporation in various aspects of the power system, distribution grid, and market operations, DR/DER assets have become center stage. The recent FERC Order 2222 further facilitates the participation of distribution grid-connected and customer owned DER assets in wholesale ISO/RTO market operations. The evolving requirements focus on managing individual DR/DER assets at the device or nanogrid level, and groups of assets at the level of aggregators, Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) or microgrids. Also, they focus on overall coordination and operation of resources at the distribution grid or the system level. At each level of the hierarchy, requirements are specific and differ from those at other layers of the hierarchy.

At the lowest level of the hierarchy, the device level, requirements include monitoring terminal parameters, such as voltages, generation, consumption, frequency, power factors, and others and controlling them in various control modes of operation to provide the required services.  Requirements also include managing operations of these assets to supply the local energy and demand requirements while adhering to local contractual requirements such as Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). In the middle level of the hierarchy, grouping of assets, or the microgrid layer, additional requirements such as the creation and managing aggregates of assets by aggregators as well as their operations to provide local resiliency to the microgrid become important. At the top layer, the distribution grid or the system level, coordination of all resources across the system to provide services in support of systems reliability and energy efficiency become important.
The OATI webSmartEnergy® Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) solution provides the functionalities and capabilities to address the requirements at all layers of the hierarchy. At the device level, OATI GridPort and MyGridSwitch provide the capabilities to enable local real-time sensing, decision support, and control of assets. They also provide the real-time telecommunication capabilities to provide field data to upper layers of the hierarchy and to receive dispatch and control instructions to effect the operational objectives. At the middle layer, OATI GridMind provides the capabilities required to monitor local assets and the decision support and control for local energy supply and demand balancing and resilience and continued operation when islanded from the grid.  At the top, the system layer, OATI webDistribute® along with a wide range of advanced applications and tools provide the overall coordination of individual assets, groupings of assets, microgrids, and nanogrids to address the distribution grid, system reliability and supply economics.

OATI webSmartEnergy® DERMS is operational in over 150 utilities and electric energy entities across the U.S. and provides a turnkey and one-stop solution to address our clients’ requirements at all layers of the hierarchy. To learn more about the solution and how it can benefit your utility, contact our experts at

About the Author:
Dr. Farrokh Albuyeh has over 30 years of experience in the electric power industry, developing and implementing power system applications and systems, as well as managing and delivering projects. Dr. Albuyeh is Senior Vice President Smart Grid Projects at Open Access Technology International, Inc. (OATI). In this role, he is involved in the development and delivery of solutions and services for wholesale energy markets, applications for scheduling and management of Demand Response (DR) and Distributed Energy Resources (DER), as well as the development and delivery solutions in support of distribution grid renovation. Dr. Albuyeh has specific experience with technical analytical studies, application software development, providing consulting services, managing, and delivery of large-scale projects.