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Study Shows Electrical Grid Facing Major Change

Posted on 7/24/2014 by Joe Gray

The way electricity is generated and distributed is facing a major change in the United States, and the NESI-SES Association has released a major study addressing the issue.

The NESI-SES Association, a national membership organization consisting of utilities, researchers and energy-related organizations dedicated to finding solutions for the energy industry, announced today the release of the Distributed Energy Resources/Microgrid Study. The DER/MG Study provides an extensive evaluation of core foundations that will ultimately be required to move DER/MG forward in a responsible way. The NESI-SES Association initiated the study in an effort to engage industry leaders from all segments of the energy industry on the challenges associated with DER/MG.

“Oklahoma utilities are experiencing unprecedented growth from oil and gas production,” said David Swank, CEO of the NESI-SES Association and Central Rural Electric Cooperative. “This growth presents challenges on multiple fronts and is transforming the traditional system planning model. The DER/MG Study explores new technologies that can provide a win-win situation for all involved including utilities, policymakers, oil and gas producers, and stakeholders.”

The study explores the possibilities of DER/MG and creates awareness of the impending changes, challenges, risks and opportunities DER/MG bring. The study explores topics from four
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perspectives – utilities, policymakers, producers, stakeholders – so a holistic approach can be taken to find solutions associated with powering the booming Oklahoma oil and gas industry.

“It [the DER/MG study] is especially noteworthy because it involves true ‘outside the box’ thinking from a consortium made up of groups with greatly different backgrounds and experience,” said Dana Murphy, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner. “I believe this will serve as an example for other states to follow in tackling such problems.”

The study demonstrates that many DER/MG applications are ahead of appropriate regulations related to reliability, safety and the environment. The study outlines many of the issues and implications unique to each perspective. Anticipating these implications and examining how we can create win-win solutions for all parties is imperative in confronting the dynamic and multiple issues through collaboration, collective intelligence and business analytics that mitigates cost to consumers and increases economic growth.

The NESI-SES Association will be reviewing the results of the study during the next few months with Oklahoma policymakers, oil and gas producers, utilities and other energy entities across the state. The association believes that this study will help shape policy and enable solutions that will help combat the growing challenges associated with DER/MG across the state.

For more information about the study, visit, click on Research and DER/Microgrid.

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