Press Release, August 6, 2020
White Paper Released: A New Market Pathway for Microgrids: Distribution Support Service Agreements
In partnership with The Energy Foundation, the IDEA Education Foundation brings you this first white paper in the Microgrid Educational Series focused on demystifying and advancing microgrids. Microgrids meet customer energy needs with generation, storage assets and smart controls in an electrical system that can separate or “island” from the grid and operate on its own.
Despite their many advantages, microgrids still face significant barriers to widespread implementation. This white paper details one of the emerging pathways available for increased microgrid deployment: Distribution Support Service Agreements.
Distribution Support Service Agreements (“DSSAs”) are agreements that allow a utility to call for services from customer and community resources as needed to support smart distribution grid operations. These agreements would build dynamic relationships between utilities and customers with dispatchable distributed energy resources, such as microgrids. DSSAs would enable microgrids to provide flexible, tailored services to meet local grid needs, while allowing them to extend their economic, environmental, and resilience benefits to the surrounding community.
DSSAs support optimization of distribution grid operations and more resilient communities, both during normal (“blue sky”) grid operation and emergency (“black sky”) response. They offer a new market pathway for the next generation of grid resources that will support the development and finance of microgrids and other dispatchable DER projects.
This white paper explores how DSSAs can serve as a new contractual vehicle to create sustaining relationships between microgrids and the distribution grid for the benefit of all stakeholders.