OpenADR DER Tutorial and Workshop Hosted By EPRI in
Presented by The OpenADR Alliance

The workshop was a great success with 80 people attending!

Hosted by EPRI at 3420 Hillview Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304

For the presentations click here.

Understanding the DER Communications Protocol Landscape

The OpenADR Alliance and EPRI are organizing a two-day event to review the current state of DER communications protocols and provide options for the OpenADR Alliance to consider as it expands its reach into DER communications.   Distribution operations planners are starting to consider demand response as one of the key DER assets it can utilize for improved grid operations.   The OpenADR standard is being used in conjunction with EV charging, battery storage and solar PV.

Leading up to the workshop, a broad range of participants, representing utilities and the leading standards for DER coordination and management for grid operations came together on several conference calls to set the ground work for this meeting. These include the SunSpec Alliance, MESA Alliance, EPRI, SEPA, SGIP, IEEE 2030.5, HECO, SCE and more.

Tutorial & Workshop

The OpenADR Alliance and the demand response industry are at an interesting inflection point, as the worlds of demand response and distributed energy resources converge. OpenADR members and interested parties are encouraged to join the OpenADR Alliance and EPRI for an important two-day meeting to help shape the future of DR and DER. This special meeting will start with a half-day tutorial to help participants understand utility-DER communications requirements and protocols.

After a lunch with presentations on the EPRI DER related projects and the OpenADR Alliance. The remaining time over the two days attendees will identify current and emerging DER requirements; open standard communications protocols that are being used or considered to meet them; gaps in the requirements/protocol landscape and how the OpenADR standard should evolve to make the optimum contribution to the industry. 

DER Requirements and Protocols Workshop

One of the major challenges facing the energy industry today is the siloed nature of both requirements and communications protocols for DER integration. Requirements and communications standards for solar PV, battery storage, electric vehicles and demand response have been developed independently. This creates a challenge for grid operators who need to manage a constantly changing set of DER resources as integrated grid assets. 

The DER tutorial will help attendees gain a better understanding of the DER landscape, requirements and communications standards from an integrated management perspective.    This education oriented tutorial will leverage the pre-work in progress for the DER Workshop as well as the industry experts who are working across the different DER asset classes to simplify the communications platforms required for integrated DER management.

DER Workshop

The OpenADR Alliance is being drawn into the DER marketplace due to the important role it plays in communicating with key energy resources in the grid.  The primary goal of the DER workshop is to identify the grid requirements and standards that are used (or planning to be used) for DER communications today and to identify how the OpenADR standard can be extended to address the critical gaps that exist in the protocol landscape.

Why Attend?

Many utilities, aggregators and vendors are working to design and implement integrated management of portfolios of different types of DER assets. More often, than not, these entities are looking for guidance on how to implement a communications infrastructure that can support essential business and policy objectives for DER integration. Several utilities and solution providers are leveraging their investments in the OpenADR standard and technology to address the DER needs of the marketplace, because good alternatives do not exist. Yet, some of these applications are beyond the original intent and design of the current OpenADR standard.  Industry stakeholders are encouraged to attend this workshop to help shape the future of the OpenADR standard and the DER marketplace.

Workshop Format

The workshop is targeting industry experts and stakeholders who have been divided into two working groups to prepare materials ahead of time for the workshop. The working groups are active and tasked with the development of reports on the 1) use cases and requirements for integrated grid services involving different DER asset classes and 2) the communications protocols in use and emerging for integrated DER management.   The working groups and resultant deliverables are in preparation for the workshop to provide a basis for discussion and recommendations for the direction of the OpenADR standard.

Key Deliverables

  1. Review use cases and requirements for various DER assets (PV, Storage, EV, DR, other?) that are emerging to guide the communications standards for DER integration.
  2. Perform a DER-related evaluation and comparison of the various DER-related messaging protocols in use today (OpenADR, IEEE 2030.5 (SEP 2), IEC 61850, DNP 3, SunSpec, OpenFMB, etc). The primary goal is to clarify the current and potential roles each standard plays in DER communications and to identify the potential DER-related gaps that exist today.
  3. Develop a set of options for the OpenADR Alliance to consider as either modifications or enhancements to the OpenADR Specification, PICS and Test Specification to meet DER requirements more effectively.

To get involved with one of the working groups and to participate in the OpenADR DER Work Group (membership in OpenADR NOT required), contact Barry Haaser ([email protected]; Rolf Bienert ([email protected]) or James Mater ([email protected]). 

April 18th Agenda

 8:15  -  8:45

Registration and Light Breakfast

 8:45  -  9:00

Welcome and Opening Remarks - Review Workshop Agenda and Goals

Barry Haaser (OpenADR), Walt Johnson (EPRI), James Mater (QualityLogic)

 9:00 - 9:45

The DER Challenge: A Panel of Utility DER Managers

HECO, SCE, and others. Moderated by Pierre Mullin (Siemens)

 9:45 - 10:30

DER Communications Requirements Framework

Walt Johnson (EPRI)

10:30 - 11:00

Break & Networking

11:00- 12:00

DER Communications Protocol Framework

Session Chair: James Mater (QualityLogic)

Rolf Bienert (OpenADR) and others

12:00 - 1:30

Working Lunch - EPRI DER Projects; OpenADR Alliance and DER

Walt Johnson - EPRI, Barry Haaser - OpenADR

1:30 – 2:00

Break and Networking

 2:00 – 3:00

DER Communications Requirements Landscape

- Review DER Requirements for PV, Storage, EVs and DR
- Review DER Requirements Matrix
Session Chairs: Walt Johnson and Angie Eide

 3:00 -  4:00

Breakout Session 1: DER Communications Requirements Landscape and Matrix
- Groups of 10-12 and Facilitator
- Issues with Framework, Use Cases, Processes, etc.

- Identify incorrect/missing Requirements

 4:00 -  4:30

Break & Networking

 4:30 -  5:00

Breakout Group Reports

 5:00 -  7:00

Cocktails and Networking 


April 19th Agenda

 8:00  -  9:00

Registration and Light Breakfast

9:00 - 9:30

Day 2 Welcome and Opening Remarks
- Review Day 1, Day 2 Workshop Agenda and Goals

- Keynote (TBD) Gaps in today’s Standards for DER Communications or DER in today’s context

9:30 - 10:30

Communications Standards Evaluation and GAP Analysis
- Summary of OpenADR, IEEE 2030.5, IEC 61850, DNP 3, SunSpec

- Summary of Gaps in DER Communications Standards

Session Chairs: James Mater and Raymond Kaiser (Amzur)
Speakers: Rolf Bienert, Ben Nebland, and others

10:30 - 11:00

Break & Networking

11:00- 12:00

Breakout Session 2: DER Communications Protocols and Gaps
- Groups of 10-12 and Facilitator
- Issues with Standards Evaluations.

- Identify incorrect/missing Gaps

12:30 - 1:30

Lunch - Speaker (TBD)

 1:30 -  2:30

Role of OpenADR in DER: Options for OpenADR
- Review DER Gaps and OpenADR Evaluation

- Review Opportunities for OpenADR

Speakers: Pierre Mullin and others

 2:30 -  3:00

Break & Networking

 3:00 -  4:00

Breakout Session 3: Options for OpenADR
- Groups of 10-12 and Facilitator
- Issues with Standards Gaps and OpenADR Options

- Prioritize Options for OpenADR in DER

 4:00 -  4:30

Breakout Group Reports

 4:30 - 5:00

Summary, Next Steps, and Adjourn


Registration and Participation Fee

There is a small participation fee associated with this workshop of $150.00 per person to help cover the costs associated with this event. Please visit the registration page to register for the meeting.  Note that foreign nationals will also need to pre-register with EPRI. Please contact us for details, if this pertains to you.


This two-day meeting provides companies with an excellent opportunity to reach key players in the DER marketplace. If your company is interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Shannon Mayette <[email protected] to discuss the various sponsorship opportunities available.

Location and Hotels

The event is being hosted by EPRI at their Palo Alto offices at 3420 Hillview Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304.   There are a number of hotels nearby. See the EPRI Flyer