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Integrated Planning for Modern and Future Distribution Systems

Augustus Johnson, Lavelle Freeman, Daniel Haughton, Marina Mondello, Julio Romero Aguero, Rick Siepka

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    Pages/Slides: 41
Panel 07 May 2024

The electric power industry is experiencing an unprecedented evolution driven by various important trends, including adoption of renewables, decarbonization, and mitigation of impacts of climate change. These factors are prompting a variety of initiatives across the electric power grid. For instance, there is growing integration of renewable generation and retirement of fossil fuel power plants in transmission systems, as well as increasing adoption of DER and electric transportation in distribution systems. Additionally, customers have growing expectations regarding reliability, resilience, and power quality due to society’s increasing dependence on the digital economy. This is particularly challenging given the vulnerability of power distribution systems (especially overhead lines) to disruptions caused by climate-related events (e.g., hurricanes and winter storms). In the specific case of distribution systems, a holistic and coordinated approach involving distribution planning, distribution engineering analyses, and DER and electric transportation adoption is needed to achieve utility goals and modernize power delivery grids. Greater attention is particularly needed to the growing synergies and interactions between distribution planning decisions (e.g., capacity planning), distribution engineering analyses (e.g., reliability, volt-var control, power quality, protection, etc.), and DER and transportation electrification integration (e.g., Non-Wires Alternatives). This has led to the emergence of the Integrated Distribution Planning (IDP) concept, which advocates for closer coordination between interrelated and/or interdependent distribution planning, engineering, and DER functions to optimize decisions. For instance, deployment of distribution automation solutions such as Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR) requires accounting for multiple important planning, engineering, and DER functions, such as load forecasting, capacity planning, voltage regulation, reliability and resilience improvement, power quality, protection coordination, and DER and electrification adoption. Disregarding or not properly accounting for some of these activities may lead to suboptimal or flawed solutions. IDP is a key area of interest for utilities in the United States. Activity in this area includes existing IDP proposals and plans, and regulatory proceedings. The components of the IDP plans/proposals are wide-ranging and cover multiple areas of expertise. This panel session will discuss the IDP initiatives currently being implemented by four electric utilities (Dominion Energy, Eversource, Xcel Energy, and Hawaiian Electric).

Chairs:
Julio Romero Aguero, Quanta Technology
Primary Committee:
Transmission and Distribution
Sponsor Committees:
Transmission and Distribution

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