Energy Connectivity is Not Enough: True Resilience Requires Customization and Standardization

When deployed, the electrical grid was a modern wonder of the world, providing efficient electricity to utilities, businesses, and homes in a vast technological network unlike anything ever built. However, the grid’s outdated design lacks the customization needed to ensure resilience and meet modern energy demands. Now, the entire framework of this engineering marvel faces regular risks and disruptions from external sources and has failed to adapt to our modern way of life.

 

The threats to the grid vary, but without proper protective measures, each brings dire consequences. Extreme weather events, from wildfires to flooding, cause constant damage and require costly repairs year after year, and these events are increasing. And although they will help drive decarbonization efforts, electric vehicles (EVs) require an abundance of electricity, which the outdated current grid cannot adequately support. EVs are only one of many examples of the surging growth of electrification, pulling more and more from a grid with less and less to give. 

 

A solution, however, exists in distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar panels, battery storage systems, etc. By controlling these resources to work and communicate with each other, DERs can modernize and reinforce the grid while also providing flexibility for efficient performance and growth, not to mention revolutionizing the entire energy industry. 

 

But this optimal performance only results from a harmonious integration of resources, not simply connecting A to B.

 

Microgrids Provide Harmony

 

DERs represent the ideal building blocks for a cleaner, more resilient, and more equitable grid. But this is only the case if these resources work and communicate together, and microgrids enable this communication. 

 

Much like it sounds, a microgrid consists of a small network of energy resources that function together to strengthen energy resilience. Microgrids can deploy sustainable energy assets to reduce emissions and work with or without the primary grid by operating independently in an “islanding” mode. This means the microgrid can deliver power even during a utility power outage, providing operational certainty and optimized energy costs. Microgrids also can scale quickly, enabling the integration of additional resources and growth. 

 

And yet, despite these apparent benefits, a lack of asset interoperability has traditionally challenged EPCs and developers trying to deploy microgrids. Therefore, since sustainability and growth require strengthening our energy resilience, we should rethink our approach to microgrids. And in doing so, redefine how we generate, store, use, and value electricity.  

 

This new approach means that energy connectivity alone will not suffice. Instead, the focus needs to shift to customization. And the Heila EDGE puts this control in the hands of developers and EPCs. We simplify microgrid deployment, reduce costs, and mitigate project risks by deploying a decentralized solution that can more precisely assess data for accurate forecasting. This actionable data means more predictability and optimized control, whether to monitor an individual function or adjust an entire fleet holistically.

 

The Heila EDGE Microgrid Control Platform

 

The Heila EDGE microgrid is a decentralized, modular control solution that allows developers and EPCs to customize their energy system, giving them complete control of their entire operation. The solution embeds our intelligent algorithm within each inverter-based resource, optimizing its performance and forecasting. Collectively, these advanced analytical algorithms make scaling and integration simple and cost-effective.

 

And to further enable customization, we designed Heila EDGE to be vendor, technology, and architecture-agnostic. This approach allows the EDGE to balance software and hardware tools to ensure widespread DER component interoperability without relying on external communications. After all, bridging solutions (as opposed to depending on a single product) represents the best approach toward smartly managing distributed energy generation and, ultimately, strengthening grid resilience. 

 

Eliminate Uncertainty and Boost Resilience Through Standardized Customization

 

Although DER systems require customization, the Heila EDGE standardizes microgrid design, deployment, and operations to mitigate risks and eliminate project uncertainty.

 

Developers can draft more detailed requests for proposals (RFPs) with greater certainty over system component pricing, revenue from market participation, and system uptime while avoiding the potential for unforeseen costs increases during project development.

 

Meanwhile, EPCs gain access to an innovative control platform that makes microgrid installation and operations simple and easily repeatable while enabling optimized control over real and reactive power across a fleet of DERs in multiple operational scenarios.

 

Through this “standardized customization” approach, the Heila EDGE facilitates grid resilience and does right by the planet. 

 

Want to learn more about how the Heila EDGE microgrid controls platform strengthens energy resilience with standardized customization? Reach out to us today!