Distribution System Operators (DSO) are required to operate and plan their networks so as to support a potential peak demand increase and the connection of additional loads and Distributed Generation (DG) units in the future. Huge investments may be required to reinforce the network capacity in order to ensure a reliable electricity supply even during periods of critical loading or congestions caused by maximum feed-in, which generally occur only a few hours a year. Active Demand (AD) encompasses a wide range of strategies and mechanisms aimed at allowing consumers to become active participants in electric power systems, by adjusting their electricity use in reaction to economic signals from the market, and to provide services to different electricity system agents, by making their electricity consumption either controllable or reactive to specific requests. The added value of AD for the electric system is a higher efficiency in the use of electricity that can be realized across the value chain of electricity supply at different levels. In particular, DSOs could take advantage of the load flexibility provided by AD by offering specific products for system services in order to operate networks more efficiently. As a consequence, the simultaneity of peak loads at critical times could be reduced, or activated demand could help in avoiding congestions that are caused by feed-in thus moderating the need for new investments in both cases. Due to a relatively scarce experience on AD, there is still great uncertainty about the magnitude of the impact that can be expected of AD in distribution grids. The quantification of these benefits is crucial for regulators and DSOs in order to evaluate the cost effectiveness of possible investments in these smart technologies and the design of network tariffs and network operation procedures that incorporate AD. This paper provides the results of the ADVANCED project in terms of quantitative analysis of the potential economic impact of AD on distribution grids and identification of the services that can be provided to ensure system performance and stability. ADVANCED is a research project co-funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement n° 308923, that aims to shed light on ways to overcome the barriers hindering the mass deployment of AD in Europe. The studies developed in the project are based on real consumption data collected from European AD pilot experiences in combination with the VaasaETT database. The analysis within ADVANCED included three steps: First a scenario based report was compiled that based on a methodology developed by the consortium calculated the flexibilities that AD might offer on a general level. Afterwards a special DSO perspective was taken in order to find a fit between DSO’s (expansion) needs and the possibilities of AD. Finally large-scale distribution planning tool was used to estimate the reinforcement needs to meet the local demand growth, a higher penetration of DG and the alterations in the shape of peak load patterns that are expected in a particular distribution network in a ten-year horizon. As a result, this analysis provides a quantitative scenario-based estimate of the impact of different forms of AD and other boundary conditions on the potential of AD to bring benefits to distribution networks as well as a deep view on how AD can support distribution grids in critical situations. Moreover it provides useful insights into the added value of AD for DSOs and the convenience of promoting and investing on certain types of AD services at distribution network local level.
Publicado: junio 2015.