Building owners are becoming increasingly aware of opportunities to install distributed energy resources (DERs) on their properties. Customer-sited DERs may include on-site generation, such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and combined heat and power (CHP) plants, as well as battery or thermal storage, shedding or shifting flexible building loads, electric vehicle charging, and energy efficiency measures. To clarify the features of DER products, this market brief presents an introductory landscape of customer-sited DER solutions and the benefits associated with implementing DERs. This brief was created based on a literature review of research reports, vendor information, and interviews with DER solutions providers and commercial building facility managers.
The brief describes multiple value streams available from DERs, including bill reduction, system resilience, economic revenue, and carbon reduction. Currently available DERs optimization software, and the level of system integration offered by selected DER solution providers are inventoried as a current snapshot of the evolving customer-sited DER market. As the implementation of customer-sited DERs continues to expand in the commercial building sector, integration and optimization of DER operation will become more important to achieve the deepest impact and benefit to customers.