Distribution system operators (DSOs) are the operating managers (and sometimes owners) of energy distribution networks, operating at low, medium and, in some member states, high voltage levels (LV, MV). Transmission grids transport large quantities of high (and extreme high) voltage (HV, EHV) electricity across vast distances, often from large power plants to the outskirts of large cities or industrial zones, where it is transformed into lower voltages distributed to all end-users through the distribution network. Over-head and underground cables leading to your home or business are operated by DSOs.

Traditionally, energy systems from power generation to homes are one-directional and based on more predictable, controllable and centralised power generation.

Increasingly, more energy is being generated locally and connected directly to distribution networks, from solar panels on your roof, to small power plants. This is generally referred to by DSOs as distributed energy resources (DER) and in the specific case of renewables, distributed renewable energy sources (DRES). (Source: E.DSO)

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