DGIC announces new website, case studies, webinar schedule

Artwork by Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative

Utilities faced with questions posed by the growth of residential photovoltaic (PV) systems and the emergence of battery storage can find answers with the Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative (DGIC). This forum enables electric utilities, solar industry participants and other stakeholders to exchange best practices for distributed PV interconnection.

Now in its fourth year, the DGIC has updated its website to make it easier for visitors to find exactly what they are looking for. Content is organized by four topic areas:

  • Data transparency
  • Business models and regulation
  • Application processing
  • Analytical methods for interconnection
  • Technology solutions

Webinars, reports and blog articles are just a click away, and DGIC can easily add the latest research on distributed generation coming from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. You will want to bookmark the new website and visit regularly to check for updates.

Suggest case studies
Do you know of an organization doing high-quality, innovative work on the interconnection of distributed generation? You can nominate that organization to be profiled in a series of case studies DGIC is planning to produce. The case studies will extend DGIC’s peer exchange beyond the webinar format to highlight leading practices in the field.

Help DGIC identify industry leaders by submitting your nominations by April 30. The nomination form will remain open after that date but only nominations received by the deadline will be considered for completion in 2017.

Attend webinars
The DGIC webinar schedule for 2017 has been released and it showcases a diverse array of topics and expert speakers from utilities, research organizations and other industry participants.

The peer exchange events begin April 5 with Energy Storage Permitting, Interconnection, and AnalysisYou are leaving WAPA.gov. This webinar will focus on one of the most talked about and fastest growing distributed energy resources in the country. This relatively new technology has the ability to act as both a load and a generator, posing unique challenges when interconnecting to the grid. Attendees will learn about permitting, interconnection requirements, and the specific analytical needs of energy storage systems.

Distributed Solar for Smaller UtilitiesYou are leaving WAPA.gov. on May 18, will highlight the experiences of smaller utilities that are shifting their business processes, staffing, planning and operations to integrate distributed solar into their systems.

The July 19 webinar, Plug-and-Play SolarYou are leaving WAPA.gov. will discuss new technologies and techniques that could reduce equipment and labor costs, but may require changes to interconnection standards and procedures.

The webinar series concludes in September with Aggregation of Distributed Energy Resources which will feature lessons learned from utilities exploring the possibility of putting a variety of distributed resources under unified operational control. The date and registration information for this webinar will be announced later this year.

All scheduled webinars will be presented from 12 to 1 P.M. Mountain Time. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required.

Source: The Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative, 2/24/17

Better Buildings fact sheets highlight top Peer Exchange Call takeaways

When it comes to energy-efficiency programs, each utility is in a different place: Looking for examples to help them get started, trying come up with a way to measure and improve the results of a first-time offering, figuring out how to take an established program to the next level and all the phases in between. Everyone could use a little help and the Better Buildings Residential Network (BBRN) is a good place to find it.

The Better Business Residential Network Peer Exchange Calls often focus on tips and strategies for choosing and working with contractors.

The Better Business Residential Network Peer Exchange Calls often focus on tips and strategies for choosing and working with contractors. (Photo by Better Building Residential Network)

Several times a year, members hold Peer Exchange Calls to compare experiences, analyze misfires, celebrate successes and discuss ways to increase the number of energy-efficient homes in America. As valuable as it would be for utility program managers to participate in this exchange, that is not the only way to benefit from it. BBRN publishes “greatest hits” fact sheets quarterly, summarizing the top takeaways from these calls. You can download this treasure trove of customer service and other tips from the BBRN website, or find Volumes 1 through 6 in the Energy Services fact sheet library.

We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to access these resources because they have so much to offer utilities. For example, here are just two takeaways from Vol. 6 of Lessons Learned:

  • Leverage HVAC upgrades to spark conversations about whole-home performance. Customers, who have put their trust in a contractor to complete their HVAC repair, might welcome the contractor’s expert efficiency advice.
  • Residential energy-efficiency customers have different backgrounds, needs, and motivations, which programs can use to tailor messages and services to different groups. EnergySavvy You are leaving WAPA.gov. uses cloud software to pair utility data with marketing data and create individual utility customer profiles to target energy efficiency messages.

The fact sheets includes links to full summaries of each call, complete with lists of participants and their locations, an agenda and presentations. Summaries to all past Peer Exchange Calls are archived at BBRN, in case you don’t want to wait for the quarterly fact sheets.

Of course, you can also find out what the leading practitioners of energy-efficient home improvements are talking about by participating in the Peer Exchange Calls. They are generally held on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time and are free with registration. The Return of Residential PACE – the Sequel (201) You are leaving WAPA.gov. is the topic of the July 21 call.

Source: DOE EERE Better Buildings Residential Network, 6/21/16