Industry experts discuss DER, changing energy market
Engineering firm hosts 4th annual Power Symposium
ORADELL, N.J. (April 18, 2019) ‒ Will renewable distributed generation entirely replace fossil fuels? Not likely, say the energy experts who gathered at the 4th annual Power Symposium earlier this month to discuss how the changing power market will impact utilities and energy developers.
More than 170 industry experts attended the event hosted by global engineering and environmental consulting firm POWER Engineers, Inc. The conference is designed to provide an open dialogue among industry leaders about issues affecting the energy sector.
“The forum was lively, informative and interactive and the feedback was excellent,” said Gerry Murray, POWER’s executive vice president of power plant engineering. “We’re all in this together, trying to figure the market out. That’s what makes the Symposium so valuable to all participants.”
The afternoon sessions featured a panel on distributed energy resources, also known as DER, with panelists Mark Ketchke, senior vice president of customer energy solutions at Con Edison; Mike Larson, director at DTE Energy Services; and Robert Morin, senior project developer at Ameresco. The panel discussed how distributed energy resources could form the basis of a system that incorporates reliable, resilient and affordable energy.
While fossil fuels will likely remain part of the U.S. fuel mix to a large degree, the utilities present said they recognize their customers want to see more renewable distributed generation.
“One of the things we wondered was, were utilities going to see DER as a threat to their business model, or are they going to embrace this changing part of the power world?” said Bret Moffett, POWER’s CEO. “We saw utilities such as AEP, Con Edison and other stand up and say, ‘we’re actively working to help our clients who want DER achieve success.’ It’s great to see that kind of adaptation to a shifting market.”
This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Samuel A. Newell, principal at the Brattle Group, who discussed shifting energy policy as well as fuel and grid security. Other key discussion topics included equity and ownership trends, fuel and grid security, energy policy, financing trends and challenges and the changing utility business model.
The Power Symposium is an annual invitation-only event for utilities, IPPs, contractors, OEMs, and financial institutions. For an invitation, please email event organizer Gretchen Cividini at firstname.lastname@example.org.