Integration of Utility Distributed Energy Resource Management System and Aggregators for Evolving Distribution System Operators

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25 Scopus Citations


With the rapid integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), distribution utilities are faced with new and unprecedented issues. New challenges introduced by high penetration of DERs range from poor observability to overload and reverse power flow problems, under-over-voltages, maloperation of legacy protection systems, and requirements for new planning procedures. Distribution utility personnel are not adequately trained, and legacy control centers are not properly equipped to cope with these issues. Fortunately, distribution energy resource management systems (DERMSs) are emerging software technologies aimed to provide distribution system operators (DSOs) with a specialized set of tools to enable them to over-come the issues caused by DERs and to maximize the benefits of the presence of high penetration of these novel resources. However, as DERMS technology is still emerging, its definition is vague and can refer to very different levels of software hierarchies, spanning from decentralized virtual power plants to DER aggregators and fully centralized enterprise systems (called utility DERMS). Although they are all frequently simply called DERMS, these software technologies have different sets of tools and aim to provide different services to different stake-holders. This paper explores how these different software technologies can complement each other, and how they can provide significant benefits to DSOs in enabling them to successfully manage evolving distribution networks with high penetration of DERs when they are integrated together into the control cen-ters of distribution utilities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 State Grid Electric Power Research Institute.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-80904


  • aggregator
  • distributed energy resource (DER)
  • distributed energy resource management system (DERMS)
  • Distributed generation
  • non-wire alternatives


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