Dear Clients and Friends,
Regulation, evolving delivery rate models, complex integration and control of DERs, and Grid Modernization are among the topics that keep many of us awake at night. This issue touches on all of these areas. But before we get to them, I want to share something a bit more inspirational.
While it is easy to take our drinking water for granted, many around the world do not have this luxury. Tricia Anklan, a senior consultant in our Energy & Utilities practice, recently returned from an eight-month volunteer project in Nicaragua, where she worked with EOS International to improve clean water access by installing water chlorination systems that deliver safe drinking water to more than 15,000 people. Tricia describes her work in Nicaragua—sponsored through West Monroe Partners’ Fischer Global Service Fellowship Program
—and her long-standing passion for clean water that inspired her to pursue this opportunity. I hope you enjoy her article
and some pictures from her work in Nicaragua.
Back to business matters… Recent legislation in Nevada has affected customers that have made investment decisions largely based on net energy metering (NEM). In light of this development, it is critical for utilities to investigate alternative rate designs and develop new solutions that adequately compensate them while not disadvantaging distributed energy resource (DER) development. Paul Augustine, manager in our Energy and Utilities practice, explores different delivery rate models in his article
One evolving concept worth watching is the distributed communication, intelligence, and payment reconciliation in a peer-to-peer grid. The Brooklyn Microgrid demonstration project uses blockchain technology to coordinate control and payments, providing a glimpse into this potential twist on future distribution systems. Jim McClanahan, senior principal in our Energy and Utilities practice, explores the use of blockchain technology (the same technology behind bitcoin) in this Microgrid project
Utilities across the country are accelerating grid modernization and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiatives, one of the key challenges in deployment in high-rise urban areas. Edison Kociu, senior consultant and Justin Licke, experienced consultant in our Energy and Utilities practice, share some best practices
for deploying AMI in the high rises that populate our urban areas.
To close the newsletter, we spotlight West Monroe’s collaborative agreement with the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) and State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) to deliver a cutting edge set of planning and forecasting tools as part of the ConnectTheGrid™ product suite. Sean Murphy, manager in our Energy and Utilities practice, and I have teamed up on this article
to provide an overview of the new product modules that will allow utilities and DER system owners and operators to plan, forecast, and control DER systems to manage energy and demand on their grid.
I hope you find these articles thought provoking and useful as you look to the future. We welcome your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future newsletter topics.