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As a company and an industry, we at WGL have demonstrated our ability to implement distributed generation – the creation of energy at or near the site of consumption – often thought of in the context of microgrids, rooftop solar panels and generators.
But while distributed generation helps to add a layer of security to our energy infrastructure beyond the master grid, and provides the ability to stay powered even in times of security breaches or natural disasters, it doesn’t always account for the development of energy over time or the integration of multiple sources of energy.
That is why, as we face the future of energy, we have developed Distributed Impact, a series of solutions that can help organizations navigate fluctuating energy markets, efficiently plan their energy spend, consistently stay connected in times of crisis and even increase sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
When looking at a holistic energy strategy, it is necessary to consider traditional energy like power, natural gas, or hydro-electricity, as well as renewable resources like solar, wind or geo-thermal. Creating a system capable of managing and integrating these resources requires demand-side management that includes energy efficiency measure and increased storage capacity, via large-scale batteries or fuel cells. This robust energy strategy considers adaptable distributed generation capabilities that enable organizations, campuses and eco-districts to “plug and play,” or integrate and package diverse energy resources. Multiple options are tailored to serve a specific entity’s energy needs and can operate with or without the main grid.
Distributed Impact doesn’t just consider the current energy market, it also takes into account the factors that can alter that market in the long term. Events and cycles such as natural disasters, seasonal shifts in load demands, regulatory changes, GHG emission standards and economic pressures are all variables that yield unpredictable energy costs for organizations. Without longer-term planning these variables could flatline distributed efficiencies and even create higher costs than pay-per-load options. It is necessary to establish and integrate a defined energy strategy that is based on sound data analysis, planning, syncopated IT, energy resource options and distribution capabilities. With Distributed Impact, the bottom line spend of an organization, institution, military base, campus or even community does not need to move up and down over time.
National security and cybersecurity – topics consistently at the forefront of geopolitical discussions – can also be improved with impact-minded energy planning. Distributed Impact provides an additional layer of security to the main grid, minimizes financial and economic risk and informs planning of environmental and business goals.
WGL sees the ability to manage distributed generation over time, and all that time implies, yielding Distributed Impact. For more information on Distributed Impact, and to view a visualization of the concept, please view our video here.
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