Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), DER Aggregations, and Virtual Power Plants supporting the Power Grid

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), DER Aggregations, and Virtual Power Plants supporting the Power Grid

How the industry can prepare for FERC Order 2222 and Beyond

This site serves as a home for EPRI’s efforts on the wholesale electricity market participation of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) aggregations. Presently, it brings together the discussions, findings, and research roadmap, drafted under EPRI Collaborative Forum on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order 2222. It encompasses various aspects of the order including market design, DER participation models, transmission and distribution system impacts, stakeholder coordination, communication infrastructure, and customer technologies. In future, further relevant EPRI research would also be disseminated through this site. 

FERC Order 2222

FERC Order 2222 is a regulatory order, issued by FERC in September 2020, which set a path forward for Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) to work with distribution utilities, DER aggregators, and relevant electric retail regulatory authorities to enable the participation of DER Aggregations in the wholesale electricity markets that ISO/RTOs manage. The order aimed to provide a range of benefits, including improving the wholesale market access for DERs, promoting competition, lowering consumer costs, enhancing grid flexibility and resilience, increasing renewable integration, and spurring wider power industry innovation. 

The Order laid out a broad set of guidelines to achieve its objectives. However, realizing the various benefits of the Order would require simultaneous efforts across multiple areas including rulemaking, grid operations and planning, market participation, technological integration, and consumer engagement.



  • Wholesale Market Access for DER Aggregation
  • Lower Consumer Costs
  • Competition
  • Enhanced Grid Flexibility and Resilience
  • Renewable Integration
  • Innovation


  • FERC Jurisdiction, Opt-Out and Interconnection Considerations
  • DER, DER Technology and Retail Design
  • DER Aggregation Participation Model
  • Metering, Telemetry and Data Requirements
  • Stakeholder Coordination


  • FERC
  • ISOs and RTOs
  • Distribution Utilities
  • Aggregators
  • State Regulators
  • Consumers
  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • Software vendors



  • ISO/RTO Markets for Distribution Utility Staff

  • Distribution Systems For ISO/RTO and Transmission Staff

  • Communications, software, hardware technology state of the art

  • International experiences


  • Smaller groups of topical experts within workstream

  • Specific components of O2222

  • Outside experts presenting on evolving research topics


  • Sharing lessons learned across regions

  • Feedback gathering

  • Stakeholder panel perspectives and discussions

  • Open Q&A, breakout rooms, and polling


FERC By the numbers

EPRI Collaborative Forum

The FERC Order 2222 was indeed significant as it impacted almost every stakeholder in the electricity sector—from a single homeowner with a small amount of rooftop solar—to FERC itself. However, it did not prescribe all the ways in which ISO/RTOs, and the many organizations participating in their markets, would specifically address the directives. This called for greater coordination and communication across the different organizations and roles. To aid this process, EPRI leveraged its strong relationships with both distribution utilities and ISOs/RTOs, bringing together one of the largest and most diverse collaborative forums of its kind. The goal of the forum was to discuss the key challenges associated with the Order, identify the remaining gaps across different focus areas, and to establish a roadmap for reliable and economically efficient stakeholder compliance.

The forum had a fairly comprehensive engagement , which lasted for a year and included all seven U.S. ISO/RTOs, a Canadian ISO/RTO, and more than 25 utilities of differing types, sizes, and locations from the United States and worldwide. Throughout the year, the forum held 18 ‘full participant’ webcasts, focusing on different topics and updates of interest to all participants. Additionally, it facilitated focused discussions on six different workstreams, covering specific areas relevant to the order. The workstreams included: 

  • Wholesale Market  Operations and Design

  • Distribution Reliability and Safety

  • Transmission System Operations and Planning

  • Transmission Distribution and Aggregator Coordination

  • Information, Communication and Cyber Security

  • Customer Technologies and Retail Programs 

The forum discussions included a variety of sessions that approached topics from different angles. Some were education-based, aiming to inform stakeholders about topics outside their expertise, while others were content-based, focusing on insights from topical experts. Additionally, there were discussion-based sessions for sharing lessons, feedback, and perspectives from various stakeholders. 


Distribution Reliability And Safety

Distribution system reliability from the distribution utility perspective including planning mechanisms and operational considerations

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DERA Use Case Survey Tool

A key cross-cutting challenge for different stakeholders is the difficulty to communicate in similar contexts about generic DER Aggregation (DERA) and their potential challenges. DERs assume many different forms, and due to FERC’s rule of heterogeneity, DERAs can be even more varied.

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