Utility Efficiency Studies

Utility Planning Solutions PLLC is a professional engineering consulting company founded January 2009 providing electric utilities, government agencies, and regional utility commissions with the latest cost effective methods for improving the efficiency of their energy distribution systems. Electric utilities can cost effectively reduce loses, lower demand, save energy, and increase end-use efficiency with no negative customer impacts. Results can be obtained without lengthy field testing by applying already tested and approved measurement and verification protocols. In most cases, the return on investment for reclaiming energy savings through increased efficiency and demand reduction greatly exceeds the cost of implementation.

Distribution System Efficiency Studies are performed by Utility Planning Solutions for for electric utilities to assess the feasibility of obtaining distribution efficiency savings. Detailed implementation plans are tailored to specific needs and objectives of the client, whether rural or urban, large or small. The company utilizes the latest scientific research methods and formulations for energyloss calculations, load flow analysis, circuit modeling, and operational simulation to achieve optimal system performance. UPS provides third party verification of utility efficiency plans and proposed M&V methodologies for Regional Utility Commissions and Regulators as needed.

Voltage Optimization (AKA CVR) is the practice of optimally (cost effectively) lowering the annual average voltage to the customer thereby reducing the customer annual energyrequirements by typically 0.4% to 1.5% depending on the amount of resistive load types. The annual average voltage reductions achievable are in the range of 1% to 3% while maintaining feeder and customer voltage profiles compliant with ANSI Standards and RUS Bulletins. These estimates are based on actual utility distribution efficiency studies and field M&V testing performed in the Northwest Region. With additional financial incentives, additional savings are possible.

The term “optimal” also refers to the comprehensive approach taken to reduce the annual average voltage profile to the customer. It includes a comprehensive set of upgrades to the Load Flowsystems. To implement distribution efficiency measures, utilities typically install metering upgrades for feeders, perform feeder modeling and load flow assessments, improve hourly power factors, balance feeder loading, install some line re-conductoring and line regulators, lower substation operating voltage set points, revise some construction and operation standards, and apply line drop compensation regulator controls or voltage feedback systems.

Energy Savings Potential for a typical 12.5 kV feeder, the energy savings range from 50 to 250 MWh per feeder depending on the amount of annual average voltage reduction is achieved. For most distribution systems, an annual average voltage reduction of 1.5% to 3.5% is cost effectively possible. Savings come from reduction in line losses on distribution lines and distribution transformer no-load losses. The total Regional life-cycle-levelized-cost of savings, based on past experiences, typically range from $0.010 to $0.024 per kWh saved.Total annual cost effective savings generally range from 0.5% to 1.5% of total revenue sales. With regional incentives, the savings potential can be higher. Distribution system efficiency savings are verified by applying an M&V Protocol. Click here for an example of a M&V Plan report.

Distribution Engineering necessary to perform distribution efficiency studies includes technical state-of-the-art distribution system modeling, feeder analysis, system metering, voltage control, and var management. Utility Planning Solutions provides experienced distribution engineering, system design guidelines, Simplified VO M&V Protocols, training, and formulations to aid in adoption of distribution system efficiency improvements. UPS also performs third party verification of savings using industry accepted CVR and Voltage Optimization M&V Protocols.

Our Clients: Utility Planning Solutions serves public and investor-owned utility districts, municipal utilities, industry associations, and other organizations seeking our expertise throughout the world. Our clients include the Electric Power Research Institute, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Northwest Energy Efficiency Association, SAIC, Commonwealth Associates, PECO, PacificCorp, Bonneville Power Administration, Cowlitz PUD, Tillamook PUD, Flathead Electric Coop, LakeView L&P, Wells REC, and NorthWestern Energy. Our services are applicable to electric utility companies regardless of size, urban or rural.

VO Technical Training Workshops of voltage optimization methods and state-the-art practices are offered by Utility Planning Solutions. Technical workshops presentations are designed for for engineers, operators, and other personnel involved in electric utility standards, system planning, distribution design, metering systems, CVR and Voltage Optimization techniques and analysis, CVR M&V Protocols, and distribution system resource management.

Contact Utility Planning Solutions today