Why Is Grid Modernization so Expensive?

When Southern California Edison (SCE) proposed a $1.9 billion (with a “b”) rate increase to pay for grid modernization, it set off alarms.

“There is wide agreement on the need for investment, but the high price tag makes it necessary to carefully prioritize investments,” according to Autumn Proudlove, senior manager of policy research for N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center.

The research analyst was quoted in a recent Utility Dive article, “PG&E May Answer the Billion Dollar Grid Modernization Question,” in which the controversy around the “obscene expenses” hopefully will lead to more clarity and reduced costs to modernize the grid.

Because of the huge investments proposed at Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) throughout the US, the perception that there are limited options to answer this “billion-dollar question” of grid modernization hinders the advancement of smaller-scale distributed energy resources. While we are excited to watch the innovations expected to emerge in the next few years from utilities like SCE and PG&E, we’re developing a distributed energy ecosystem that can solve problems at any scale.

At Virtual Peaker, we know that utilities are looking not only for net benefits for your customers but for solutions that can evolve with your strategic goals. You want (and deserve) a cloud-based virtual power plant that can respond in real-time to reduce peak energy demand – without breaking the bank.

Every day we’re working to make the grid smarter, more innovative, and cost-efficient for you and for your customers.

Click here to learn more about how we can help.

Virtual Peaker is a cloud-based Distributed Energy Management System (DERMS) that connects to in-home smart devices such as water heaters, EV chargers, and thermostats to allow utilities to run residential demand response programs, develop new revenue streams and exceed their customer engagement goals. Virtual Peaker can integrate new devices in weeks instead of months using our API and other open standards without the installation of any additional hardware in the home. Virtual Peaker hopes to help innovative utilities maximize operational efficiency and usher in the age of renewable energy.


About The Author
Jeff Quigley blog author

Jeff is the VP of Sales for Virtual Peaker. He has spent his entire career in energy and data analytics where he has led teams working with utilities, government agencies, oil and gas companies, and financial institutions to help drive growth strategy and manage energy transition. He has worked with a team of analysts in developing an integrated resource plan (IRP) for a major U.S. vertically integrated utility, with a focus on load forecasting, locational marginal pricing (LMP) prediction, and long-term grid reliability. He has also managed the development of marketing and growth strategy for one of the four largest global oil and gas firms with a focus on the long-term viability of the Asian market-entry strategy.

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