Knoxville, TN, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- January 18, 2010 - Ireland’s national utility ESB Networks has been selected by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) as its sixth – and second international – smart grid demonstration host site.
 
This project adds another aspect of diversity by integrating together four main focus areas, according to EPRI’s latest Smart Grid Advisory Update. These are large scale wind integration, customer behavior trials and technology, electric vehicles, and green distribution circuits.

Other demonstration host sites under review are Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCP&L) “Green Impact Zone” project, which has completed the EPRI technical review cycle, and a proposal from Exelon based on joint projects by two of its subsidiaries, ComEd and PECO, which is being reviewed by the EPRI technical team. Both projects are expected to be reviewed by the EPRI Board of Directors in April.

The EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative is a five-year collaborative research effort focused on the design, implementation, and assessment of field demonstrations to address prevalent challenges with integrating distributed energy resources in grid and market operations to create a “virtual power plant.”

The first five host sites are at American Electric Power Service (AEP), Consolidated Edison, FirstEnergy, PNM Resources, and Electricité de France (EDF).

The EPRI OpenDSS team has assisted AEP with a first peek at some example simulation outputs from a South Bend Indiana circuit. The simulations compared using 25 kWh, 50 kWh, and 75 kWh CES units (25 kW) looking at various charging and discharging schemes. A future step is to apply this learning to develop method to determine the trigger points for utilization of the CES. Other simulations are being considered for demand response, photovoltaics, and volt/var research using the same detailed circuit data.

The Con Edison project is currently working on a set of technology evaluation documents relative to integrated communications, advanced components, control methods, and decision support methodology. Several use cases are being finalized relative to islanding concepts and dispatch of customer load controllers.

FirstEnergy has met with engineering and markets groups for input on use case deliverables to ensure the accuracy of the planning represented by the use cases. FirstEnergy has started the next customer enrollment period targeting 4,000 residential customers.

To support PNM’s project, EPRI, in conjunction with Sandia National Laboratory, are performing battery testing and evaluation. In addition, the University of New Mexico is developing models in GridLAB-D to evaluate demand response in buildings. A review of DMS-type systems that have the capability to interface and control distributed energy resources is underway that will not only support the technology evaluation phase of PNM’s project, but also be a resource for all the EPRI members.
 
The EDF project plan details are being finalized. One of the first areas of focus is related to the cost-benefit analysis of distributed resource integration in Europe.

Further host site proposals are being accepted up to April 15 with the aim of having all approved by August, when the joint project research and collaboration will commence.