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What Does The Future Hold for Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrids, and Energy Management?

(Rick Sander, CEO, Tuesday September 29, 2020)

One thing that is almost as certain as death and taxes is that the world is consuming more electricity, not less. With climate change concerns throttling the use of fossil fuels, distributed energy resources (DERs) such as photovoltaic (PV) solar and other renewables are the obvious answer. However as their name implies, the electricity from DERs is not necessarily distributed best through conventional electrical grid topologies. The answer is microgrids and distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS), according to a recent report by Wood Mackenzie.

DERMS, and the resources managed by them were used extensively by CAL-ISO and Southern California Edison (SCE) to address grid constraints and manage overall energy available during the power crisis of August 14-15, 2020. The impact was an overall reduction of 1,200 MW of grid demand during this period. The value of DERMS was recently underscored when Emerson, one of the largest industrial, commercial, and residential automation vendors, acquired OSI Corporation, a DERMS developer, for $1.6B. Look for concepts such as cloud-based solutions5 and artificial intelligence (AI) to enter the DERMS lexicon in the next few years, as well as concerns around cybercrime and the vulnerability of DERMS to disruption.

Rhombus has built high-power inverters for renewable energy such as “behind the meter” grid energy storage systems for several years. We have applied that expertise to the design of our latest-generation bi-directional electric vehicle (EV) charging systems (which are designed from the start for the needs of fleet operators) and bi-directional smart inverter systems for microgrids. Rhombus expertise in energy management system (EMS) software is also embedded in our VectorStat EMS controller and software which is embedded in our EV charging systems and smart inverters. Rhombus also excels in the design and testing of high-power electrical equipment to meet the requirements of UL and other certification organizations. We have built hundreds of V2G-capable high-power, high-reliability chargers and bi-directional smart inverters for a variety of different sizes and classes of EVs. Find out how we can help you by contacting us at, or by reading our Vehicle to Grid Solution Brief.

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