Integrated Distribution Planning Concept Paper

Author:  Broderick, Robert | Ellis, Abraham | Fox, Kevin | Lindl, Tom
Organization:  Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Report Date: 

The IREC paper discusses planning efforts that are being contemplated or implemented by utilities across the United States to accomodate distributed generation.  

It also proposes an Integrated Distribution Planning approach to proactively plan for distributed generation.  

Key Take-Aways: 
  • In recent years a number of states and utilities, including Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, and Pepco the parent company of utilities in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, have taken steps to streamline interconnection procedures to accommodate high DG deployment.
  • The report recommends five steps to Integrated Distributed Planning, which include first forecasting distributed generation growth on the circuit, then establishing the hosting capacity and allowable penetration level, then determining available capacity on the distribution circuit, then planning upgrades and expediting interconnection distribution circuits, and finally publishing results.
Key Facts: 
  • There have been a high volume of interconnection requests from small and large photovoltaic projects, with a cumulative 1,856 MW installed in 2011 compared to only 79 MW installed in 2005.
  • Annual grid solar photovoltaic capacity almost doubled with 3,153 MW installed, relative to 2011 cumulative installations.
  • Solar regions have expanded beyond the Western region -- in 2011 just 61% of the nation’s annual installed capacity was found in Western states, compared to 93% in 2008.