Resources: FAQs


Answer your questions about DERMS, DERs, and ESS

As battery storage, DERs, and DERMS become more mainstream, more questions are coming up as we all get acquainted with the nuts and bolts of it all. We’ve put together this brief FAQ page to help you navigate some of the terminology and details.

DERMS stands for “distributed energy management resource system.” It is a software solution for owners and operators to aggregate and better manage their distributed energy resources (DERs). It can be used to participate in demand response programs or used to reduce building electricity load during peak events, in turn reducing operating costs.

DERs is the acronym for “distributed energy resources.” These can be anything from rooftop solar, battery energy storage systems, or electric vehicles. DERs can be connected behind-the-meter (at a host site) or in front-of-the-meter (into a local distribution system like in the case of community solar installations).

Our software processes over one billion data points daily and our team – including our on-staff meteorologists – continuously monitor multiple data sets to supplement our software predictions, adding an extra layer of redundancy for our customers.  

A load threshold is internally set at the beginning of each peak prediction season. The team analyzes the potential for meteorological events on a weekly basis, being cognizant of not only the load threshold and whether or not it will be met/exceeded (resulting in a coincident peak event), but also referencing previous weather analogs via a robust analysis of historical weather patterns (including upper air and surface weather data) that resulted in past peak events. Once the expected peak day arrives, the prediction team continuously monitors real time data such as satellite, radar, airport observations and load trends in order to provide the most accurate peak prediction possible.

The number of BOMA and LEED points depends on what features you already have in your building (in case of overlap of features you are already doing such as energy monitoring), but our technology and services can provide anywhere from 3 to 12 points for your certifications.

An energy storage system (ESS), sometimes referred to as a battery energy storage system (BESS) consists of a battery, an inverter, and a controller. The majority of the batteries we deploy are lithium-ion due to their high energy density, low maintenance requirements, and strong track record of safety. We are continuously looking at ESS technology developments and test cases, such as graphene batteries.  

The simplest way is through energy arbitrage: the battery charges at night when electricity is cheapest and discharges during the day when demand and prices are highest. An intelligent software controller tells the battery when to discharge based on a revenue algorithm specific to the energy load and utility billing structure to maximize value. During moments of peak electricity demand – for example on the hottest days of the year – the price of electricity can skyrocket due to imbalances in supply and demand. By forecasting these hours and discharging the battery during these very expensive periods of peak demand the ESS can significantly reduce energy costs.

Energy storage systems reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use by charging during periods of low demand or when cleaner sources of electricity are more abundant. By intelligently charging and discharging, we reduce our reliance on coal or natural gas peaker plants and improve our environmental footprint by displacing it with clean energy that charged the ESS. We are continuously improving our software so that customers can determine the mix of energy and economic goals that they can achieve with battery systems.  

Yes. The batteries are UL Certified and installed in accordance with local and national codes and standards. The batteries are designed with multiple layers of automatic safety shutoff controls and redundant fire suppression designs. To date thousands of lithium-ion systems have been deployed across North America with an small proportion of incidents, generally as a result of human error.

The space required for the system is determined by the kWh rating, or capacity of the battery. For example, a 4,500 kWh battery would require approximately 800 square feet, roughly the size of a four standard parking spots.

While the development of energy storage systems sites can take 6–10 months because of the regulatory and permitting environment, the actual construction can be very short, typically around 3 weeks. The construction entails pouring a concrete pad, installing the electrical infrastructure required, delivering the battery, commissioning the site, and energizing the ESS. You can check out our Youtube channel for a time-lapse of a battery system install

We deployed one of the world’s first demonstrations of bi-directional electric vehicles (EVs) performing grid services within commercial buildings in Ontario. These EVs not only reduce strain on the grid, but also participate in Peak Power’s multi-asset virtual power plant in Toronto. We’ve also been involved in one of Canada’s first ferry electrification projects and one of CAISO’s first through-the-meter battery systems.  You can learn more here on our Innovation Projects page.

Energy Markets are Complex. We Help You Navigate Them.

Our team of energy experts can help you with everything from project design to incentive application to software-optimized battery storage operation.