How AI-powered DERMS can build and optimize a smart grid

Sept. 15, 2022
Many grid operators are turning to distributed energy resource management systems, or DERMS, to help manage the growing number of renewables and their associated data, but that solution alone has its limitations.

As the country works to decarbonize the grid through the integration of renewable technologies such as wind, solar and even electric vehicles, there is still a major hurdle to overcome. The current grid infrastructure simply cannot handle the growing demand for electricity, according to a new white paper from Veritone.

“Aging grids and rising electricity demand combined with the challenge of delivering reliable power when managing a patchwork of intermittent energy sources encompasses the greatest hurdle to overcome,” the paper says.

One of the biggest aspects to address is the sheer volume of data being generated by these new, sometimes intermittent, distributed energy resources. According to the paper, collecting, analyzing and turning terabytes of data into actionable intelligence is simply not possible for humans alone.

As a result, Veritone notes that many grid operators are turning to distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) to help manage the growing number of renewables and their associated data. This solution combines hardware and software to provide real-time communication and control across generation and storage assets, and it’s a good first step toward a smart grid. But the paper says DERMS has its limitations because “humans are ultimately responsible for collecting, processing and interpreting this information as grid conditions continuously evolve.”

When designed correctly into a green energy solution, AI can use iterative machine learning and neural network processing to spot historic and real-time patterns in large data sets. — Veritone, “Can AI Help Build and Optimize a Truly Smart Grid?

As the grid becomes greener and more complex, DERMS alone won’t be sufficient. The key to creating a smart grid, according to the author, is the deployment of artificial intelligence.

The author explains that it’s AI’s predictive capabilities as well as its ability to act on those predictions — without human intervention — that set it apart from other solutions. “Instead, artificial intelligence autonomously and instantaneously balances the energy grid with virtually zero disruption in electricity delivery.”

The paper also explores how using AI-powered DERMS can “smooth” utility-scale solar production. 

Download the report for free from the Microgrid Knowledge white paper library.

About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. If you’re presenting at a Microgrid Knowledge conference, you can expect to hear from me at some point! I have over 25 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. For the past five years, I’ve focused exclusively on recreational vehicles, electric vehicles, and the renewable energy industry, where I’ve written about utilities, solar, and wind energy companies (I like to keep things diverse!). I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.


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