Locational Resource Planning

PowerRunner’s micro forecasting and analytics allows system planners to consider the locational effects dynamic loads have on resource planning.

Challenges

As distributed energy resources, demand response programs and changing consumer habits reshape system usage patterns, resource planning for transmission and distribution is as complex as ever before. Locational Resource Planning necessitates that utilities evaluate the impact of load and generation growth and DER penetration on all distribution system assets. Forecasted system asset load and generation and downstream coincident peak data is essential to support system planners with temporal, spatial and conditional asset information to assess current and future system asset loading. 

Historical Planning

Building, operating and maintaining a secure reliable network has always been the top priority for utilities. System planners have historically oversized their assets to avoid public, political and regulatory fallout from outages due to overloading.

Previous planning studies were based upon a single system peak day. Utilities built and operated systems that can handle peak demand even though capacity utilization can be less than 50 percent on system assets. This mindset is no longer sustainable from a cost or public policy perspective.

Challenges of Distributed Energy Resource (DER)

The introduction of DERs to an electrical distribution system which has been designed to deliver power in one direction is quickly becoming a bi-directional platform. These bi-directional power flows are creating system imbalances that can place a significant strain on the distribution system.

Distribution planners will continue to need to build the system to meet the highest demand on each circuit, while also accommodating and assessing the impact on operations and reliability of the growing number of DERs on distribution network.

DER Siting vs. Integrated Resource Planning

As DERs proliferate on the distribution system, utilities need to focus on individual assets with a horizon of two to five years. An integrated resources plan featuring frequent analyses of asset performance and related financials is needed to help utilities avoid operational issues, overallocated costs and declining revenues on the grid.

The plan should include the integration of DER assets and performance modeling to determine the best “integrated plan” for DER and distribution assets.

What PowerRunner Provides

PowerRunner uses granular AMI data on each circuit from which a  detailed hourly analysis of the aggregate load can be conducted to describe not only the current conditions, but also to predict future conditions, i.e. the magnitude and time of peaks.