Orlando, FL, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- March 2, 2012 - After a two-year development project including application at 15 utilities, the Smart Grid Investment Model has been completed as a stand-alone software application.

The Model, from the Smart Grid Research Consortium, which began as a research and service project at Texas A&M University, is aimed to provide a comprehensive financial analysis framework covering all aspects of smart grid costs and benefits.

Individual smart grid technologies and programs covered include:

  • Advanced communications and metering
  • Distribution automation
  • Volt/VAR and conservation voltage regulation
  • Customer reliability valuations
  • Pricing programs
  • Direct load control
  • Programmable communicating thermostats and similar customer-facing technologies
  • Other demand response technologies and programs.

The Model includes a 20-year, quarterly financial smart grid cost/benefit accounting framework with utility customer class and end-use electricity use detail. Other features include:

  • Monthly kWh, peak kW, load profile forecasting models to determine smart grid hourly load program impacts by customer class and end-use
  • Explicit representation of all important costs and benefits including avoided power purchase costs and avoided capacity investment costs for generation, transmission and distribution
  • Cost/benefit parameters, parameter ranges and guidelines to begin smart grid investment analysis
  • Scenario, what-if, and other analysis features required to develop cost effective smart grid investment strategies.

The model is calibrated to individual utility data to include current individual line-item costs and infrastructure characteristics, as well as the monthly customer-class end-use hourly load sub-models required to determine the impacts of technologies and programs on system loads and power costs.