DERs interconnected on the 'customer-side' of a meter can provide services to both the customer as well as the broader power system. These rapidly growing 'customer-side' DERs offer the widest range of services, helping meet the needs of the customer, the distribution system, and the transmission system. Tapping into all of these potential services, however, may also require a significant shift in how the power system is operated, as well as well-designed policy and regulatory frameworks.
The table below highlights some of the key differences between ‘grid-side’ (front-of-the-meter) and ‘customer-side’ (behind-the-meter) DERs, along with the challenges they present to the power system and solutions for those challenges. These challenges and solutions may vary in importance depending on power system context and DER adoption levels.