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The Energizer -Volume 52


  • On September 3, 2019, EDF Renewables (“EDF”) announced its acquisition of PowerFlex Systems (“PowerFlex”), a Pasadena-based start-up that will provide EDF technological infrastructure to control the loads that multiple electric vehicles (“EVs”) can withdraw from individual charging stations. By more effectively controlling load management at individual charging stations, EDF will improve its infrastructure’s ability to more efficiently absorb excess daytime solar power, resulting in reduced loads during peak hours. PowerFlex has previously received grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (“NREL”), the California Energy Commission’s CalSeed program, and Southern California Edison, among others. PowerFlex is already operating its technology for EV charging stations at NASA’s Pasadena Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NREL’s National Wind Technology Center, among other places. 

  • Generally, EV charging station operators can program their stations to set load limits by restricting the number of vehicles charging simultaneously or by managing the rate of charge. PowerFlex’s technology enables charging stations to be plugged into building electrical loads as well as into distributed energy resources (“DERs”) such as solar panels and batteries, thereby allowing operators to manage site loads directly. This greater control enables operators to minimize demand spikes. 

  • EDF’s acquisition is part of its strategy to develop its DER technology. Recently, EDF established its U.S. Distributed Energy and Storage business unit, which controls 50 percent of a California-based solar panel developer.


  • On July 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) announced a new grant of funds for companies using blockchain technology as part of a trial to test the ability of blockchain technology to protect the national electricity grid. As part of this trial, TFA Labs, an internet-of-things start-up, will receive $199,660 through the Small Business Innovation Research grant. TFA Labs will work with Factom, an early promoter of blockchain technology, to implement Factom’s protocol as a tool to promote grid resiliency. 

  • Factom’s protocol, an open source platform for blockchain solutions, is designed to verify the security of devices on a grid using blockchain and cryptography. Specifically, the protocol will use cryptographic signatures to verify data produced at or near the point of data origin, using devices that operate their own blockchain. The technology is already being tested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The first stage of the trial will last until March 2020. If successful, the DOE may award up to $1 million to TFA Labs for a second phase. 

  • By using cryptography and blockchain, Factom may be able to improve the integrity of data communicated to and between devices connected to electric grids because the data communicated will be encrypted and must be validated through an objective consensus protocol. Improving data integrity will improve grid management by ensuring more accurate and widely shared information.


  • This week, GreenTech Media highlighted five states that are leading the charge in integrating DERs into the grid: (1) California; (2) Hawaii; (3) New York; (4) Massachusetts; and (5) Arizona. All the states, except for Arizona, have enacted a 100 percent clean energy mandate and have developed aggressive policies and initiatives to achieve their goals. For instance, California has implemented laws requiring rooftop solar installations on new residential homes under three stories. Massachusetts has implemented a “Clean Peak Standard,” which is designed to ensure that a portion of “peak-hour” electricity is generated from renewable sources. 

  • GreenTech Media also highlighted some of the challenges that the five states have faced in driving DER growth. For instance, the New York City Fire Department has raised concerns regarding the safety and permitting issues involving the deployment of “certain behind the meter” lithium-ion batteries. More information about the various state initiatives and challenges in driving DER growth is available here.

Copyright 2022 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 261

About this Author

Buck B. Endemann, KL Gates, energy infrastructure lawyer, remediation projects attorney

Buck Endemann is a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office, where he is a member of the energy practice group. He provides comprehensive counseling on energy, infrastructure and remediation projects, including advice on air, water and waste compliance issues, and represents clients in related litigation. 

Mr. Endemann has extensive experience on the commercial, land use, and regulatory aspects of renewable energy and infrastructure projects throughout the Western United States, with an emphasis on California. He has a particular expertise...

Benjamin Tejblum, KL Gates Law Firm, Energy Law Attorney

Benjamin Tejblum is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and focuses his practice on energy and infrastructure projects and transactions. Mr. Tejblum’s clients include electric utilities, electric transmission owners, independent power producers, power marketers, and public utility holding companies that are active in the electricity markets in the United States. Mr. Tejblum regularly represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and has counseled clients on matters involving mergers and acquisitions, interconnection procedures and...

Daniel Cohen, KL Gates Law Firm, Washington DC, Finance Law Attorney

Dan Nuñez Cohen is an associate in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Dan advises and advocates for clients at the intersection of federal legislative and regulatory policy and compliance, focusing on financial services issues affecting depository institutions, trust companies, money services businesses including digital asset exchanges, wallet providers, and token issuers; and the cannabis industry. He has experience assisting with bank charters and money transmitter licenses; counseling clients on compliance with federal banking and trust laws; and advocating for...

Toks A. Arowojolu, KL Gates Law Firm, Washington DC, Environmental and Energy Law Attorney

Toks Arowojolu is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office where she is a member of the oil & gas and power practice groups. She focuses her practice on energy regulatory law and assists clients with navigating the FERC process. She also conducts regulatory due diligence for clients exploring M&A opportunities.

*Admitted only in Maryland / Not Admitted in D.C.
Supervised by David Wochner, member of the D.C. Bar

Olivia B. Mora Environmental & Energy Lawyer K&L Gates Law Firm


Olivia Mora is an associate at the firm’s Houston office. She is a member of the oil, gas & resources practice group.


Ms. Mora served as a summer associate at the firm where she gained experience supporting associates and partners.