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Helping an investor owned utility develop a Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) strategy


“Our work with MCR was highly successful in terms of integrating the Distributed Energy Resource stream into the greater strategic vision of the company.”

—Manager of Product Development


Background

An investor owned utility was in the enviable market position of having retail rates that were much lower than the existing rates of distributed energy resource (DERs) alternatives. Through a strategic planning exercise, the utility recognized that this position provided a tremendous opportunity to develop an aggressive DERs market entry strategy before other DERs vendors (e.g., Solar City, Ballard Power Systems) entered the market.

Solution

MCR worked with our utility client to assess all of the existing DERs technologies that were viable as well as some technologies that had the promise to become viable in the next 10 years. Each technology was assessed in terms of its customer application, technological reliability, economic viability and market potential in their service territory. In parallel, the project team gathered the results of a recent corporate strategic planning effort, customer research, market trend analyses and a regulatory assessment to develop an overall context. With this background information, the team developed an overall DERs strategy statement and then identified four market entry products/services related to introducing company branded DERs technologies and services into the marketplace. The client presented the strategy to their Board of Directors for approval.

Results

The Board of Directors approved the DERs strategy, which was integrated with the company’s overall strategic plan and objectives. The four products were moved into the company’s product development process, which entails more detailed business cases, financial forecasts, product definition, market entry strategies and product launch details. The first product is nearing its market launch.