- Six companies offering distributed energy resource (DER) products and services have formed the Distributed Energy Resources Council of Hawaii (DERC) which they say is the first U.S. trade association working exclusively on behalf of “behind-the-meter” distributed resources. The DERC is in the process of picking an Executive Director.
- Founding DERC members are E-Gear, a battery energy storage system provider, Enphase, the world’s leading microinverter manufacturer, solar installer Hawaii Energy Connection, energy consultant Hygrid, energy storage provider Stem, and international inverter manufacturer Tabuchi.
- Members of the council expect it to play an important role in legislative processes and ongoing Hawaii Public Utilities Commission proceedings. The aim is to help write new laws and shape new rules that will get Hawaii to its 100% renewables by 2045 mandate.
DERC Hawaii defines itself as “a collaboration between distributed energy resource (DER) and smart grid companies committed to developing constructive paths towards an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supply for Hawaii.” Its two objectives are to enable DER and smart grid technologies and to ensure they are reasonably compensated.
“It is not just about solar anymore,” said CEO Chris DeBone of founding member Hawaii Energy Connection. “The like-minded group of participants in this new coalition did not see proper representation in what was called the DER docket.”
The founding group feels those who make and deploy things like smart grid technologies, intelligent energy management, smart meters, and energy storage need to have a voice, he added.
The group was formed over the last few months but started to more formally come together after the release of the PUC’s Order ending Phase 1 of its DER proceeding. There is a lot of interest in membership because "this is the epicenter of a fundamental change," DeBone said. “There has to be an advanced grid if the state is going to get to 100% renewables.”
While the group says its the first coalition to focus exclusively in DERs, another group formed earlier this week under the Solar Electric Power Association's banner to center around the intersection of DERs and solar power.