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VoltVAR Regulation and Optimization Conference

Event Description and Agenda:

Coordinated control of voltage and reactive power through the use of capacitor banks and regulators is one way that utilities can control demand and increase system efficiency. Of course, all of this must be managed by a sophisticated system of automatic controls. These types of advanced volt/VAR projects are gaining in popularity, and many leading utilities have included volt/VAR control as part of their overall smart grid road map.

Utility companies are struggling with decisions about where to invest precious dollars, and the array of smart grid vendors and options is overwhelming. Investing capital and operating funds on distribution system optimization through volt/VAR control is an alternative that should be considered seriously as part of any utility's smart grid plan.

This type of demand management north of the meter has a multitude of system benefits, and customers and regulators will be able to see a tangible, positive impact on reliability as a result of smart grid technology implementation. This conference will demonstrate how to improve CVR with novel tapchanger/regulator control, how to save energy, and control demand management with VVO. In addition, don't miss the case studies presented by the following utilites: Baltimore Gas & Electric, Morristown, Puget Sound Energy, Duke Energy, AEP, and Xcel Energy.


Monday, March 2, 2015

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 8:45 a.m. :: Opening Remarks and TVA Welcome Message

Cynthia Herron, VP Energy Right and Renewable Solutions, Tennessee Valley Authority

8:45 - 9:30 a.m. :: Voltage Optimization in the Tennessee Valley

This presentation will explore TVA's interest in pursuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) with its local power companies and directly served industrial customers regarding voltage optimization. Additionally, there will be a discussion surrounding the system efficiencies as well as the environmental benefits gained as a result of smart grid technology implementation.

Troy Eichenberger, Sr. Program Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority

9:30 - 10:15 a.m. :: Case Study: Baltimore Gas & Electric -Single Phase Voltage Control Pilot Project

Many utilities are rethinking conservation voltage reduction, but BGE has a unique approach. For the most part, BGE doesn't use load tap changers or regulators for voltage control. Instead, it has fixed transformers at the substation and uses feeder capacitor banks to manage distribution voltage levels. For the pilot project, BGE wrote its own algorithm, due to the fact that most of the utility vendors only offered solutions tailored for use of load tap changers type transformers and/or line regulators. The pilot project is switching capacitor banks on a per phase basis limiting unneeded voltage rise on the feeder and helping balance the feeder voltage profile. This session will provide attendees with an update on the successes of this project and much more.

Michael Smith, Automation & Technology, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company

10:15 - 10:45 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:45- 11:30 a.m. :: Case Study: Puget Sound Energy - CVR Implementation coupled with AMI

This session will detail PSE's recent CVR development AMI end of line voltage measurement and verification. This presentation will discuss project justification, scoping, results, and lessons learned through field experience.

Kevin Gowan, Technical Field Services - Engineer, Puget Sound Energy

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

12:30 - 1:15 p.m. :: Utility Case Study: Closed Loop Voltage Reduction

Morristown Utility Systems in Morristown, TN implemented the nation's first closed loop voltage reduction program (CLVR) to curtail its peak demand while simultaneously improving overall system reliability. Unlike traditional CVR, CLVR provides utilities with greater levels of automation and control when dispatching voltage adjustment during critical peak loads and regulates voltage to insure no adverse effects on customers. Working with Tantalus, Morristown used CLVR along with a real-time, event driven fiber optic based AMI system to reduce peak electrical demand and annual energy consumption through automated, real-time voltage reduction. This presentation will discuss how utilities can integrate voltage regulation with an AMI, SCADA and OMS systems to achieve better peak load reduction and use granular data to optimize operational efficiency. The added benefits enabled by fiber optic infrastructure will also be presented.

Jody Wigington, General Manager/CEO, Morristown Utility Systems

1:15 - 2:00 p.m. :: Case Study: The Edge of Network Grid Optimization

This presentation will feature the edge of network grid optimization approach to volt/VAR control, which delivers value through dynamic volt/VAR control and grid monitoring. The 'grid edge' is an area of growing concern for the utility industry, as it impacts key utility initiatives such as grid integration of distributed solar, and the ability to achieve many critical grid optimization benefits including energy conservation. Dynamic volt/VAR control at the grid edge is a first application of decentralized solutions by the utility industry. Key features of this approach include:

  • Fast response
  • Autonomous behavior
  • Voltage/current sensing
  • Secure communications
  • Mitigates voltage dynamics (i.e. solar, industrial loads)
  • Scalable: 10 - 1,000 kVAR

Deepak Divan, President and CTO, Varentec

2:00 - 2:45 p.m. :: Case Study: Duke Energy's Projects - Project Successes

Duke deployed a variety of smart grid technologies, including advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) with an upgraded meter data management system (MDMS), distribution automation, integrated voltage/VAR control (IVVC), a new distribution management system (DMS), electric vehicle charging stations, a customer web portal, and customer pricing pilots. This presentation will discuss some of Duke's projects and include insights and lessons from implementing a large variety of technologies across multiple service areas. This presentation will also discuss project scoping, project success criteria, and lessons learned through field testing.

Martin Garvin, Lead Engineer, Duke Energy

2:45 - 3:15 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:15 - 4:00 p.m. :: Utility Case Study: AEP gridSMART« Volt/VAR Optimization

This case study will look at the success of VVO deployments on the AEP network that employed digital signal processing (DSP) technology and a process-based approach, rather than script or model-based architectures. There will be discussion of current methodologies for the Measurement & Verification (M&V) process - the key to proving out the operational and energy benefits post-deployment - to show overall energy savings.

Paul Thomas, Grid Management Deployment Supervisor, AEP

4:00 - 4:45 p.m. :: Implementing Volt/VAR Optimization for Demand Reduction

This session will cover the experiences gained from several Volt/VAR programs for Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR). The feasibility analysis process will also be discussed along with demand reduction, including cost benefit analysis. Experiences from a closed loop CVR system are analyzed that adjusts regulation levels based on end of line AMI meters. Finally, information on the effectiveness of CVR and the processes used to analyze the data will be included.

Jim Weikert, SCADA and Distribution Automation Lead Consultant, Power System Engineering, Inc.

4:45 - 5:00 p.m. :: Q&A

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. :: Networking Reception - Sponsored by Varentec

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. :: Measurement & Verification - Energy Savings and Demand Management with VVO

Various studies have shown significant potential for energy savings and demand management through VVO. This presentation will discuss the evaluation methods to estimate these benefits at the planning stage as well as for projects that have been implemented. The presentation will also discuss the modeling of system loads, the impact of emerging technologies such as distributed energy resources and storage, the process of measurement of verification, and lessons learned in related projects. Recent activities of IEEE task force on Volt/VAR Control will also be briefly introduced.

Le Xu, Advisor, Quanta Technology, Secretary, IEEE Task Force on Volt-VAR Control

9:30 - 10:15 a.m. :: Case Study: Feeder Level Harmonics and Use of THD Measurements

The drive for power delivery efficiency has led many utility companies to install voltage and VAR optimization applications, which rely upon capacitor banks installed throughout a feeder to regulate voltage and substation VAR loading. Because of heating effects, harmonic currents that are injected by customers can inhibit the operational effectiveness of such applications. This presentation describes a method for identifying the origins of feeder level harmonics with the use of THD measurements retrieved remotely from capacitor banks and a single harmonic spectrum analysis. This process utilizes a simplified distribution system model to perform current injection calculations to match the measured feeder level distortion that is identified from remote monitoring. The spectrum analysis measurement is utilized to determine the individual harmonics of the THD measurements and to develop harmonic source parallel impedances. The process was applied to an existing volt/VAR application that was frequently experiencing 9-percent voltage THD.

Kerry D. McBee, P.E., Ph.D.c., Sr. Specialty Engineer - Distribution System Planning, Xcel Energy

10:15 - 10:45 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:45 - 11:45 a.m. :: Improving CVR with Novel Tapchanger/Regulator Control Methodology

When using CVR for voltage responsive loads, the deeper the voltage reduction, the greater the energy savings. A concern of lowering the voltage at the substation and midline regulators is end-of-line low voltage violations. This session will explore how regulator or load changing transformer controls control (LTC) may be applied to work with capacitor controls in a coordinated fashion to enhance VVO and CVR. The use of operational mode selective negative VAR-bias for VVO operation provides unity power factor operation. The use of positive VAR-bias for CVR operation allows deep voltage reduction near the source of feeders, where most of the feeder load flows, offering a CVRf of 1.0 and greater. Another benefit of this approach is the ability to reduce regulator and LTC operation by up to 50%. This methodology does not require communications to the capacitor controls, making it extremely cost effective for Volt/VAR Optimization (VVO) and Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) applications.

Wayne Hartmann, Protection and Smart Grid Solution Manager, Beckwith Electric

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. :: Q&A/Conference Conclusion

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