Challenges for Distributed Energy Resources and Virtual Power Plants

Relations between electric utilities and the environmental movement have often been stressed. Now these entities are happily united on the latest megatrend in electricity supply: distributed energy resources, known by the acronym DER.

These are desirable for balancing the intermittency of renewables, mainly solar and wind. Also, they are the building blocks of the envisioned virtual power plant (VPP) — a favorite concept of the environmental community and which is supported by the Biden administration.

DER takes up the slack in the electricity system and enhances the available power supply without building new generation or new transmission. Almost by definition they must be close to demand centers and available to the utility during peak electricity hours.

These critical questions and more will be addressed in this briefing, which will consist of a panel of experts taking questions from knowledgeable journalists. USEA Acting Executive Director Sheila Hollis will give opening remarks. Llewellyn King, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and broadcaster, organized this briefing and will moderate.

The Experts:
Jon Wellinghoff, Former Chairman of FERC; Chief Regulatory Officer, Voltus, Inc.
Rudy Garza, President, CPS Energy, San Antonio
John Reynolds, President, Agile Fractal Grid
Duane Highley, CEO, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Denver
Ahmed Mousa, Utility of the Future Manager, PSE&G

The Reporters:
Jennifer Hiller, The Wall Street Journal
Herman Trabish, Utility Dive
Ken Silverstein, Forbes
Rod Kuckro, Freelance
Matt Chester, Energy Central 


Jon Wellinghoff

Former Chairman
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Rudy Garza

President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
CPS Energy

John Reynolds

Agile Fractal Grid

Duane Highley

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.

Jennifer Hiller

The Wall Street Journal

Herman Trabish

Contributing Editor
Utility Dive

Ken Silverstein

Senior Contributor

Rod Kuckro


Matt Chester

Energy Central

Ahmed Mousa

Utility of the Future Manager