PPL Electric Utilities, GE Power Form Distributed Energy Partnership

Pennsylvania-based PPL Electric Utilities and GE Power Digital have announced a joint initiative to develop and test software to manage and control electricity from renewable and stored energy sources.

The initiative will enable both companies to learn more about the impact of distributed energy resources (DERs) on grid management and accelerate the advancement of technology to support it.

GE’s DER Orchestration software uses automated and adaptive technologies to manage the impact of distributed generation. PPL will adopt GE’s DER Orchestration and integrate it with the utility’s Advanced Distribution Management Solutions. This combination is expected to enable the utility to model and improve grid operations, maintain grid reliability, enhance load forecasting and improve bi-directional communication with DERs.

PPL and GE will test the software within the utility’s service territory for assistance with future product development and verification for others within the industry considering DER solutions.

“There will be more change in the electric utility industry over the next 10 years than we have experienced in the prior 100 years. Distributed energy will be everywhere, but we’ll still need the grid,” says Matt Green, chief information officer at PPL. “With the proper investments to successfully orchestrate DERs, the grid will become more valuable. Utilities are best positioned to provide the platform of the future and enable emerging technologies to thrive. To accomplish this, we need long-term strategic relationships such as the one we have established with GE.”

“Distributed energy brings with it variability that places new stresses on the grid. To address this challenge, new approaches to business and operating models along with advanced software solutions are critical,” adds Jeff Wright, vice president of product management for GE Power. “We’re glad to be working directly alongside a forward-thinking utility like PPL. Not only are they focused on innovating for the future, they’re focused on doing it the right way for their customers – safely and reliably.”

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