Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed energy resources, or DERs, are small-scale power supply or demand resources that are connected to the grid. They are power-producing assets that can be used alone or in tandem to provide value to the network. They are becoming a larger and more essential part of the energy system as they improve energy security and contribute to decarbonization goals.

What are DERs and how do they work?

Physical DERs are usually on the smaller size of generation, less than 10 MW in capacity, and can consist of backup generators, small hydroelectric turbines, combined heat, and power (CHP) and Biogas stations, solar arrays, small wind farms, battery energy storage systems and more. They can be owned and operated by electric utilities, independent power producers, or local companies. 

One of the key benefits of DERs is their ability to improve the efficiency and flexibility of the grid. Traditional power plants are often large and inflexible, making it difficult for them to respond quickly to changes in demand or supply. DERs, on the other hand, can be easily turned on and off, or ramped up or down, to help balance the grid and meet changing demand.

Another benefit of DERs is their ability to reduce the amount of energy lost during transmission and distribution. When electricity is transmitted over long distances, a significant amount of energy is lost due to resistance in the transmission lines. By generating electricity closer to the point of use, DERs can reduce these losses and improve the overall efficiency of the grid.

DERs can also help reduce the costs of electricity for consumers. By generating their own electricity, consumers can avoid paying for transmission and distribution charges and can potentially sell excess electricity back to the grid. This can help reduce the overall cost of electricity and can make renewable energy more affordable for more people.

Managing distributed energy resources

Regardless of the nature of the underlying asset—Cogen plants, generators, solar arrays, batteries, demand-response resources, or otherwise, most DERs require the following features:

  • Communication and control infrastructure - in most cases a type of SCADA system will be used to monitor and control the operation of the power system. 
  • Metering equipment is needed to ensure the owners of individual DERs are adequately compensated for their resources’ supply and demand. Nano uses the Nanobox for the measurement and control of distributed energy resources.
  • Aggregation software is critical to effectively managing and operating virtual DERs. Individually controlling thousands of individual resources would be highly impractical for utilities and grid operators. Aggregation software provides a streamlined front that operators can work with - in an effective way, while also managing the various constraints and features of each aggregated asset. This is Flexdesk.

DERs are an integral part of the energy transition when managed effectively

Distributed energy resources have an important role to play in the energy system. the advantages listed above are multiplied many times when DERs are managed centrally in a virtual power plant (VPP). Virtual power plants monitor and control a network of distributed energy resources in real-time, allowing them to optimize their operation and provide grid services such as ancillary services and demand response.

Managing smaller power generation in the context of the entire European energy grid will create energy security and vastly reduce the costs of energy by optimizing energy according to the requirement in real-time.


If you are the owner or operator of distributed energy assets Nano Energies can remotely operate them in the ancillary services markets creating new income streams and reducing costs. We are experts in the energy industry with more than 14 years of experience working at the forefront of energy information technology. Become part of the most advanced virtual power plant in central and Eastern Europe today and maximize the value of your energy assets.

Let Nano Energies steer your distributed energy resource

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