Category: Rate Design and Valuing Distributed Energy Resources
As solar continues gaining adoption in the North American power grid, accurately assessing its economic value in a given project, system or grid presents a number of difficult challenges. Across the spectrum of solar stakeholders – independent power providers, utilities, regulators and regional grid operators – all must understand how to balance a variety of economic and operational equations, finding the right mix of resources to deploy at the right time amidst an increasing number of factors.
While the current approach to calculating value – the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) metric – remains useful for estimating the individual cost of a single asset, this one-asset-at-a-time approach faces limitations and new challenges in the complex era of distributed energy. In the new energy paradigm, ever-increasing levels of distributed energy resources (DER) affect each other and in turn are affected by a variety of market signals and operational data – on multiple timelines.
A new metric is needed, one that helps stakeholders understand the value of solar within the complex enterprises in which they now operate. Recognizing the urgency of solving these challenges, the U.S. DOE awarded Austin Energy $4.3 million for SHINES (Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV). The Austin SHINES project is developing a new metric to provide a more accurate evaluation of the collection of resources within the actual environment and use-case it must serve.
This presentation will:
•Explore how the “System LCOE to Serve Load” metric (SLCOE) is being defined, providing for the first time, a measure by which the overall cost/benefits of solar can be assigned an accurate value in the context of the entire system in which they operate.
•Explain the metric as it is being field proven at Austin Energy with multiple distributed energy resources (DER) including solar, smart inverters, EVs and energy storage.
•Describe the impact and interplay of a mix of forecasting tools, market signals, advanced communications and the DER optimizer software platform built to control it all.
•Attendees of the presentation will come away with insights on how the DER management platform optimizes both operational performance and economics, enabling energy to be delivered to system loads at the lowest possible cost, while maintaining grid reliability.
•The resulting SLCOE metric demonstrated becomes a formula for solar industry stakeholders to make an informed decision on the optimal mix of DERs to lower the cost and hit a certain objective.
Bina Ansari– Power Systems Engineer, Analytics, Doosan GridTech