Resource Dynamics Corporation

Distributed Generation and Combined Heat and Power

The worldwide market for power generation is undergoing a tremendous transformation due to restructuring of the electric power sector in many countries. This is resulting in intense competition, as well as price increases and capacity shortages. At the same time new, cost-effective distributed generation technologies are increasingly becoming commercialized. Finally, near-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are coming, and combined heat and power promises to be a key measure for fighting climate change. Current trends, both in the U.S. and international markets, favor distributed generation technologies for some key applications.

RDC has provided consulting advice on small-scale power generation for more than two decades. Clients include project developers, equipment manufacturers, utilities, end-users, trade associations and financial institutions. Our work began in the early 1980s with cogeneration feasibility studies and market assessments. In the 1990s, we helped many U.S. companies assess and act on distributed generation business opportunities. Projects typically quantify the market for distributed generation technologies as well as develop effective business strategies.  During 2000-2013 we have significantly contributed to development of the IEEE 1547-series of interconnection standards, and to several State interconnection standards, and continue to provide consulting services to a variety of clients on distributed generation issues.

For more information on distributed generation technologies and applications, visit

Leading Solutions

To help clients understand distributed generation technologies and markets, we offer several services, including:

Evaluation of distributed generation opportunities in end-use markets

Identifying key sectors, geographic areas, and applications where distributed generation has the most potential to be installed.

Strategic planning for the distributed generation marketplace

Developing successful business strategies used by our clients to enter into new markets.

Assessments of distributed generation technologies

Developing key insights about the feasibility and commercial potential of distributed generation technologies.

Identification of potential sites for distributed generation applications

Performing in-depth studies to identify and evaluate sites with the technical, economic, and institutional potential for distributed generation.

Feasibility studies for distributed generation projects

Determining the technical and economic feasibility of distributed generation at specific sites and for specific applications.

Facilitation of standards and Rulemaking

Help clients develop technical standards and rules pertaining to distributed generation, interconnection, and net metering.

Recent Accomplishments

Helped develop distributed generation interconnection standards and rules, such as the District of Columbia Small Generator Interconnection Rule and documents in the IEEE 1547 series of standards.

Reviewed emerging combined heat and power technologies to determine potential markets for new technologies.

Developed white papers on emerging distributed generation interconnection and smart grid issues for the Regulatory Assistance Project.

RDC developed regional market potential estimates of CHP applications for the entire U. S. for Cummins.  RDC modeled natural gas pricing, utility rates and cost and performance of CHP units in the Cummins product line.  The results were provided for the entire U. S. market, as well as regional breakdowns using census regions.  Other key facets of the market were revealed by the analysis, including a breakdown of landfill and municipal wastewater segments.  Regional results highlighted the top utilities for each region and the number of potential applications and potential megawatts that was found to be economic.

RDC conducted a study for ORNL and DOE that identified many waste products that could be used for onsite power generation, including CHP applications. These “opportunity fuels” include landfill gas, anaerobic digester gas, biomass, and many others. For each state, the study identified the key opportunity fuels and the most likely applications in the industrial and commercial sectors, determining the economically-achievable market potential for these applications. Follow-on efforts assessed state renewable portfolio standards and how they could impact demand for opportunity-fueled projects. RDC has presented this information to many audiences, including a group of landfill and wastewater treatment operators in Utah and a group of CHP application centers nationwide.

We contributed to a study conducted for the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, entitled Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future (CEF). The principal goal was to produce fully documented scenarios that assess how energy-efficient and clean energy technologies, including those using alternative fuels, can address key energy and environmental challenges. We defined policies to accelerate the development and deployment of CHP systems, and assessed their impact on the CHP marketplace and on U.S. carbon emissions.