THE UNIGEN SMART SYSTEM FOR RENEWABLE INTEGRATION

A new way of managing the variability and uncertainty of VERs

To manage the variability of VERs, much of the industry favors enlarging centralized control of resources that are able to compensate for it. The UniGen Smart System, on the other hand, is a distributed solution that disaggregates the seemingly intractable problem of renewable integration into smaller, more manageable ones. Our technology solution and business model are designed to integrate large amounts of renewable energy into the electrical grid without sacrificing stability or cost effectiveness.


Our software platform is a distributed control system that solves schedule deviation problems at the generator project level instead of allowing the problems to reach the grid operator’s control room. Along with our novel business arrangements that unite typically competitive renewable and firming energy sources, the UniGen Smart System enables:

INCREASED GRID FLEXIBILITY 

 

Directly couple renewable and firming resources to create and distribute flexible hybrid power plants around the grid.

 

  • Our software platform supervises the combined operations of a VER, a firming energy resource (e.g. natural gas), and an energy storage system. The software sits on top of each resource owner’s own Energy Management System, linking them together.

REAL TIME BALANCING

Automatically compensate for VER schedule misses to correct supply and demand imbalances in real time.

> Within our control system, the set point is the scheduled delivery of power from the wind or solar generator, and the firming energy resource and/or storage system is used to keep the combined output at the set point. The combined output never deviates (except within a very small range) from the committed schedule.

> UniGen’s proprietary algorithms detect schedule deviations and use the firming energy resource and/or energy storage system to add or subtract the needed energy right away.

> Our system is getting smarter all the time, and will soon use predictive analytics to process relevant information, identify trends, and make predictions to further optimize the mix of resources we manage.

REAL TIME BALANCING

Automatically compensate for VER schedule misses to correct supply and demand imbalances in real time.

 

  • Within our control system, the set point is the scheduled delivery of power from the wind or solar generator, and the firming energy resource and/or storage system is used to keep the combined output at the set point. The combined output never deviates (except within a very small range) from the committed schedule.

 

  • UniGen’s proprietary algorithms detect schedule deviations and use the firming energy resource and/or energy storage system to add or subtract the needed energy right away.

 

  • Our system is getting smarter all the time, and will soon use predictive analytics to process relevant information, identify trends, and make predictions to further optimize the mix of resources we manage.

MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL BUSINESS ARRANGEMENTS

Connect diverse resource owners through business deals that incentivize them to help solve the integration problem while serving their own financial interests.

 

  • The UniGen Smart System repurposes the use of brown energy to support renewable energy and to maintain grid reliability, creating a new source of market revenue and financial viability without increasing the total amount generated.

 

  • Our system ensures VER owners can bid into the DAM while meeting their schedule commitments, selling all the renewable energy they generate, and avoiding balancing costs--providing financial incentives for them to help solve the integration problem without intervention by CAISO and other grid operators.

Download an Exec Summary of our research or request the full report.

How key stakeholders benefit from the UniGen Smart System for Renewable Integration

 

For states with ambitious renewable energy generation goals (regulatory agencies, governmental organizations, etc.):

 

 

VER generation in the amounts envisioned by California’s RPS, for instance, is generally viewed as a serious threat to maintaining grid reliability at affordable costs to ratepayers. The UniGen Smart System ensures VERs can deliver all the renewable energy they generate to the grid and eliminates grid operator curtailments, enabling the integration of large amounts of renewable energy into the grid in a reliable, cost-effective manner.

 

  • Meet ambitious public policy goals for renewable energy generation and continue to be viewed as a leader in carbon reduction.

For grid operators like CAISO:

Our research has shown that the use of UniGen by market participants to serve their own financial interests will support CAISO’s efforts to maintain grid reliability with fewer costs even as the amount of VER generation continues to grow. UniGen-enabled hybrid resources assist CAISO with these efforts by re-shaping the Duck Curve into a manageable Dog Curve--flattening the steep afternoon ramps that follow an over-supply condition--and by enhancing the frequency response characteristics of the grid. Our system also helps grid operators avoid hefty financial penalties for failing FERC’s reliability and compliance standards, and save time and avoid the costs associated with inefficient balancing efforts and paying firming resources to stand by.

  • Stabilize electrical supply and demand to ensure the long-term reliability and affordability of the grid.

 

  • Save money by reducing balancing costs and avoiding significant reliability and compliance penalties.

 

  • Incentivize asset owners to help solve the renewable integration problem before it reaches the grid operator’s control room.

For VER owners:

The UniGen Smart System is primarily a tool that allows VERs to utilize the DAM. VER owners can use UniGen to schedule all of their forecasted VER generation into the DAM and rest assured the schedule will be met.

 

  • Lower costs and increase revenue by scheduling into the DAM with significantly reduced financial exposure. Compared to the RTM, DAM prices are higher and almost never negative.

For firming resource owners:

In today’s market in states like California, firming energy resource owners like natural gas plants are facing reduced financial viability as the cost of renewable electricity continues to decline. By linking these firming energy sources to renewable sources, UniGen repurposes the use of brown energy to maintain grid reliability, the critical role it should play, creating a new source of market revenue and financial viability for these resource owners.

  • Realize new revenue opportunities amid an increasing shift toward renewable energy, improving long-term financial viability.

For utilities and CCAs:

Today there is a hidden cost to integrating renewables that currently gets passed on to consumers, and utilities and CCAs face pushback when consumer rates rise; lowering the hidden cost with the use of the UniGen Smart System will result in a potential revenue source for utilities. UniGen will also enable those that are predicated upon the ability to offer clean energy at a lower cost to deliver on that promise, avoiding customer attrition.

 

  • Offer consumers more renewable energy at affordable rates, avoiding damaging public dissatisfaction.

Download an Exec Summary of our research or request the full report.

Follow along as UniGen Resources’ momentum builds


With funding and support from the California Energy Commission, we’ve accomplished many milestones on the path to making the UniGen Smart System for Renewable Integration a commercially viable product.

 

Below is a timeline of what we’ve accomplished and what lies ahead:

Commercialization of the UniGen Smart System for Renewable Integration will require pilot projects with real power plants, and we’re actively seeking both traditional investment opportunities as well as pilot partners and collaborators.

 

UNIGEN RESOURCES

Mendocino, CA

707-937-0878

GET IN TOUCH

Copyright 2018 UniGen Resources. All rights reserved. Site design by Trina Spiller Design | Photography by Tim Nauman | Content by Jordan Enright-Schulz