Power Systems Operations and Planning Services

The Power Systems Operations and Planning team focuses on planning, design, and operation of interconnected power systems.  We understand the physical characteristics of generation, transmission and distribution equipment and the complex interaction characteristics of their operation as part of a large integrated power grid, and industrial plant, or commercial facility.

Distribution Automation and Smart Grid Analysis

The core mission of the electric power system is to supply loads with adequate capacity, voltage, frequency and reliability. From the early 1900s to today electric power has brought about a new age of industrialization, communication, and healthcare, maintaining the well-being of billions of people around the globe. In the last two decades, automation devices, communications, and controls have been progressively applied to improve reliability, operational efficiency and utilization. Recently there has been a wholesale push toward modernizing the grid to create a “smart grid” with two-way high-speed communication, sensing & monitoring devices and command & control technologies. Energy Consulting performs engineering studies that facilitate application of smart grid technology, and assess the benefits for grid operation. We have considerable experience with technologies and applications such as smart meter integration, coordinated volt/VAr control, conservation voltage reduction, fault detection and location, system reconfiguration strategies, etc. Our expertise also includes analysis of business cases for smart grid and automation, identification of isolate drivers, and assessment benefit for utilities, customers, and other stakeholders.

Impact of Distributed Generation

The concept of distributed generation has received widespread attention in the power industry. Increasing proliferation of these distributed generators necessitates changes in how power distribution system are designed, operated, and maintained. Conventional US distribution systems are radial with an inherent assumption that the flow of power is always from substation to end user. Installation of distributed generation on these radial systems invalidates the assumption and introduces a range of issues like stability (for larger DGs), voltage regulation, fault current contribution, islanding, power quality, reverse power flow, harmonic injection etc. Energy Consulting performs engineering studies to assess and analyze the impact of distributed generations. We have extensive, global experience performing interconnection requirement studies (IRS) and impact studies for various distributed energy resources (DERs) including CHP, solar PV plants, wind generation, and battery storage.