The energy environment behind the meter is becoming increasingly complex. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States has more than 12 million distributed generation units, representing about one-sixth of the capacity of the nation’s existing centralized power plants. Navigant Research expects global DER capacity to grow up to five times faster than new central station generation over the next five years.
This dramatic increase in the use of distributed generation is largely a result of commercial and industrial (C&I) energy customers installing behind-the-meter distributed energy resources (DERs), like solar, and energy storage to boost efficiency and reliability. As a result, the number of total energy assets is growing at an unprecedented pace — but without the ability to be connected, monitored and controlled in a centralized platform, their benefits may not be able to be extended beyond the meter.
There has been a void in the ability to manage the proliferation of distributed resources behind the meter. Businesses in the C&I sector have had to rely on proprietary energy management applications and Building Automation Systems that required customized SCADA development to create networks. These approaches were not scalable and not cyber secure. The inevitable byproduct of this approach was that each individual energy asset — the HVAC system, meter, solar panel, etc. — had its own underlying network. This created unmanageable systems and data silos that were not capable of being monitored or controlled in real time, were not future proof, compatible with each other or cybersecure. There was also no concept of solving the bigger problem that one day, all assets would need to be connected, secured and controllable from a centralized, dispatchable system of distributed energy resources.
That’s where the latest generation of Energy IoT platforms come in. These platforms solve the challenge of getting disparate systems to communicate with each other.
But not all IoT has been created equal. Learn more how Blue Pillar’s Energy IoT platforms have been purpose built to tackle the chaos behind the meter within the C&I sector in this short 3-minute video.
And stay tuned for our third installment of the series that introduces the topic of Energy Network-as-a-Service.