NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: Planning For A Distributed Grid


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    Monday, June 17, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: Planning For A Distributed Grid

    Evolving Approaches to Electricity System Planning

    Lisa Schwartz and Natalie Mims Frick, March 14, 2019 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    In This Presentation

    • Evolving planning research and technical assistance for states

    • Electric grid planning activities

    • Distributed energy resources, distribution system planning and integration with other processes

    • Integrated resource planning and distributed energy resources

    • Resources for more information…

    Electric grid planning activities

    • Distribution planning  Assess needed physical and operational changes to local grid

    • Integrated resource planning (in vertically integrated states)  Identify future investments to meet bulk power system reliability and public policy objectives at reasonable cost

    • Transmission planning  Identify future transmission expansion needs and options for meeting those needs

    • Demand-side management (DSM) planning  Identify opportunities to use energy efficiency and demand response to meet future energy and capacity needs

    Integrated distribution planning

    • Assesses physical and operational changes to the distribution system necessary to enable safe, reliable, and affordable service that satisfies customers’ changing expectations and use of DERs, generally in coordination with resource and transmission planning

    • Includes stakeholder - informed planning scenarios to support a reliable, efficient, and robust grid in a changing and uncertain future…

    Drivers for improved distribution planning

    More DERs — cost reductions, policies, new business models, consumer interest

    Resilience and reliability

    Aging grid infrastructure and utility proposals for grid investments

    Need for greater grid flexibility in areas with high levels of wind and solar

    Interest in conservation voltage reduction and volt/VAR optimization

    Non-wires alternatives may provide net benefits to customers

    Utility investments: Distribution 29% ($35.7B) of 2017 EEI member investments (* /QtrlyFinancialUpdates/Documents/EEI_Industry_Capex_Functional_2018.07.17.pptx)

    State benefits from improved distribution planning

    • Makes transparent utility plans for distribution system investments before showing up individually in rider or rate case

    • Provides opportunities for meaningful PUC and stakeholder engagement  Can improve outcomes

    • Considers uncertainties under a range of possible futures

    • Considers all solutions for least cost/risk

    • Motivates utility to choose least cost/risk solutions

    • Enables consumers and service providers to propose grid solutions and participate in providing grid services

    Emerging distribution planning element

    • Projecting loads and DERs in a more granular way

    • Analyzing hosting capacity — amount of DERs that can be interconnected without adversely impacting power quality or reliability under existing control and protection systems and without infrastructure upgrades

    • Assessing locational value of DERs

    • Analyzing non-wires alternatives to traditional investments  Investments in energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation and storage that provide specific services at specific locations to defer, mitigate or eliminate need for traditional distribution infrastructure

    • Increasing visibility into distribution system

    • Better representing distribution system in models for planning and operations

    • Engaging stakeholders

    Examples: States advancing distribution system planning

    • Requirements for utilities to file distribution system or grid modernization plans (CA, HI, IN, MA, MD, MI, MN, NV, NY)  Integrated distribution planning is nascent.

    • Consideration of cost-effective non-wires alternatives (CA, HI, MI, MN, NV, NY, RI)

    • Requirements for hosting capacity analysis (CA, HI, IL, MN, NV, NY)

    • Locational net benefits analysis for DERs (CA, HI, NV, NY)

    • Storm hardening, undergrounding (MD, FL)

    • Requirements for utilities to report on poor-performing circuits and improvement plans (many states)…

    DERs in integrated resource planning

    • Some regulators explicitly require utilities to consider at least one type of DER in IRP or other long-term planning. For example:

     Washington requires utilities to use identified DERs as inputs to IRP.

     Oregon electric companies must evaluate DERs on a par with supply-side resources in IRPs and consider, and quantify where possible, additional benefits (Order 07-002). The PUC’s order on Portland General Electric’s 2016 IRP required the utility to “work with Staff and other parties to advance distributed energy resource forecasting and distributed energy resource representation in the IRP process.” PUC staff’s February 2019 white paper proposes a holistic, robust structure for distribution planning, including planning for DERs.

     New Orleans requires Entergy New Orleans to consider storage and other DERs as potential supply-side resources in IRP.

     New Mexico requires energy storage to be considered with other resource options in IRP.

     Massachusetts issued an order that clarified the objective of including DERs to “facilitate the interconnection of distributed energy resources and to integrate these resources into the Companies’ planning and operations processes.”

     California, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico and Oregon require consideration of combined heat and power in IRP

    DER data resolution varies depending on purpose - Efficiency example

    • Cost-benefit analysis in energy efficiency planning  Hourly time-varying demand and energy value  Hourly time-varying economic value

    • Distribution system planning  Sub-hourly time-varying energy, demand and economic value for specific levels of the system — e.g., distribution substation or a specific distribution feeder or line section 16

    • Resource planning  Depends on approach used to incorporate energy efficiency into planning process  Load decrement – seasonal or on- and off-peak time-varying demand or energy value of efficiency

     Input to the resource planning optimization model – efficiency is treated like other resources

     Various efficiency measures are grouped by price

     Energy efficiency shape of each bundle is available for model to choose Source (also for next few slides): Mims Frick and Schwartz (forthcoming), Using Time-Varying Value of Efficiency for Planning and Programs in the Electricity Sector

    Accounting for DERs in IRP – Efficiency example

    • Energy efficiency is generally addressed in one of two ways:

    Assumed amount of energy efficiency savings subtracted from load forecast

     The utility may identify the amount of savings through an energy efficiency potential assessment, preset standard or target, or another planning exercise.

     If the utility chooses to use a preset standard or target, it also may consider scenarios with higher amounts of efficiency.

    Resource option selected by an optimization model

     Capacity expansion models simulate economic dispatch of existing and potential future power systems to allow efficiency to compete directly with other resource options

     Use reliability criteria and economic decision rules (“optimization logic”) to determine type, amount, and schedule for new resource development to meet forecasted future need for energy and capacity

     Can also determine whether retirements of existing resources (or power purchase contracts) would be economic…


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