The original electric grid was comprised of a series of local systems that were networked together. At the core of these systems were localized generation sources. As the systems evolved and electric supply became critical to the economic growth of the nation, a centralized model was embraced in America. This is the model seen today.
This model is under stress from a variety of forces:
Reliability is expected to be affected by aging baseload generation fleets, distribution systems and professionals who maintain these assets
Siting large-scale fossil fuel generation has become increasingly challenging
Renewable portfolio standards and greenhouse gas emissions regulations are increasing the need for renewable generation
Energy security and reliability concerns by large-scale and critical infrastructure customers are laying the groundwork for islanding capabilities
Though no single force is dominating the market today, the combination is creating increasing demand for distributed resources. The current focus in the market is on integrating renewable generation at utility scale to benefit the distribution system and the customer’s side of the meter.
They are distinguished from traditional utility-scale generation in that they enable a decentralized power network versus a linear power chain.
By taking an agnostic view of distributed generation and storage technologies, Siemens provides its customers with leading solutions at medium- and low-voltage levels to effectively employ and control smart generation assets safely and securely.