PJM, stakeholders propose new subcommittee for ongoing DER talks

PJM staff and stakeholders who have been exploring the topic of distributed energy resources in special sessions of the Market Implementation Committee for months will propose formalizing their work with the creation of a new subcommittee that will report to the Markets and Reliability Committee.

On Oct. 2, the group reviewed a draft charter that will be up for endorsement at the October Markets and Reliability Committee meeting, which will officially establish the new stakeholder group.

Mindful of the busy stakeholder meeting calendar and the closely related nature of this topic with other existing subcommittees, the new DER subcommittee meetings will be co-scheduled with the Intermittent Resources Subcommittee and the Demand Response Subcommittee where possible, said Scott Baker, senior business solutions analyst – Applied Solutions, who will chair the Distributed Energy Resources Subcommittee.

The group is in the stage of developing options and proposals, he said at the meeting. By the end of the year, the plan is to have an energy and ancillary services package ready for approval by a higher-level committee. That recommendation would cover market participation and related issues such as the interconnection process and coordination with distribution system operators.

According to the group’s charter, its topic of study involves generation or electric energy storage resources connected at distribution voltages and/or connected behind a load meter.

Monday’s daylong discussion delved into the details of energy and aggregation, which Baker noted is a big piece of overall DER participation.

Andrew Levitt, senior market strategist, Emerging Markets, presented a draft proposal for accommodating DER in the energy market with accompanying details about a DER ruleset and aggregation.

The proposal, which he said aimed to reflect all previously discussed stakeholder principles, is being offered as a starting point for further discussion.

It addresses only retail and end-use customers and the export capability of generation and storage wired with load behind a customer meter as well as those with existing retail energy settlements for injected energy solely for ancillary services.

The siting of wholesale DER, such as with munis and coops, will be examined separately in coming months.

The idea, Levitt said, is to create a third category for participating in the market as DER, in addition to the established rulesets for generation and demand response. Participation under the new rules would be voluntary; individual and aggregated DER still could choose to operate as generation or DR.

Two key components of the discussion were an emphasis on transparency in the process, and the establishment of safeguards against double-counting electricity injections into the grid.

In that regard and others, the electric distribution companies (EDC) would continue to play an integral part in DER activity.

Staff and stakeholders discussed the intricacies of a variety of use cases.

The group will meet next on Oct. 18 in Wilmington.