NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Why are the newest distribution system buzzwords 'hosting capacity analysis'?

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    Wednesday, July 18, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Why are the newest distribution system buzzwords 'hosting capacity analysis'?

    Why are the newest distribution system buzzwords 'hosting capacity analysis'? To meet customer demand for distributed energy resources, utilities need to know what their systems can handle.

    Editor’s note: Debates about the value of DER continue but they seem to be falling out of the headlines due to climate change-induced emergencies and Washington, D.C.-induced controversies.

    Herman K. Trabish, Jan. 17, 2018 (Utility Dive)

    The three keys to distributed energy resources (DER) value in a utility's distribution system are the same as the keys to real estate's value – location, location, location. In New York and California, which are leading the work to value DER, distribution system planning is a growth industry. Determining DER's locational value is that industry’s key target, which explains why the buzzwords “hosting capacity analysis” (HCA) are being heard more and more in locational analysis debates. The initial purpose of HCA, called integration capacity analysis (ICA) in California, was to make DER interconnections faster and more efficient.

    Granular knowledge of the distribution system means very different things to key stakeholders. To DER advocates, it is the holy grail and should be implemented yesterday because it opens access to right-now marketing. To utilities, it is an unprecedented incursion into their systems, warranted by customer demand but to be implemented judiciously and methodically. But utilities should seize this opportunity, according to Sky Stanfield, lead author of the just-released “Optimizing the Grid: A Regulator's Guide to Hosting Capacity Analyses for Distributed Energy Resources,” from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)…HCA is part of “the bigger conversation about utility business models,” Stanfield told Utility Dive… click here for more

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