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Technology-driven disruption in the energy space: how Distributed Energy Resources are driving change

Much like in other market segments, technology and changing customer preferences are driving a revolution in the utility sector. Alectra has quickly emerged as an industry leader by embracing these rapid changes and sector disruption, and integrating them into the core of our business.

As consumers continue to leverage the positive and transformative effects of technology and innovation (Uber and Airbnb are prime examples), there is an increasing demand for greater choice in the electricity sector as well. Coupled with increasing energy costs and the need for clean energy, people and businesses want something different. As a result, the traditional relationship between the customer and utility is being increasingly disrupted by a de-centralized energy ecosystem as technological innovations enable greater customer choice. The energy system of tomorrow is centred around the use and growth of Distributed Energy Resources (DER). DERs involve the interconnected use of solar panels, battery storage, electric vehicle infrastructure and other innovative energy technologies, all controlled and managed by cloud-based software. The main draw of DERs is that they promise innovative change to the electricity system. Where we once relied on large, centralized generation facilities from which to draw our electricity, we can now rely on many localized ‘mini’ power plants – the homes and businesses in our communities.

Further, energy generated by DERs is not only consumed and stored by the generating household or business, it can also be fed back into the grid during periods of high demand. This results in better grid management, improved reliability and lower system costs. One of the driving forces behind the merger that created Alectra the opportunity to pool the resources and expertise of our former utilities to ensure Alectra can continue to adapt to sector disruption. By transforming into the utility of tomorrow, we will continue to be a successful company and an ally to our customers and communities. You can expect to hear more about our innovation plans in future blog posts.

 

Max Pacheco
Contributor:

Max Pacheco

Government Relations Coordinator, Alectra Utilities