Grid Planning
Non-Wires (NWA)

Actual and contracted grid capacity values determine if connection requests will be accepted or rejected.

The Utility Problem

The grid’s maximum capacity is critical to utilities because it provides information on whether an additional load can be connected at a given location. Actual and contracted grid capacity values determine if connection requests will be accepted or rejected. Thus, these values might impact the consumers’ overall satisfaction in the distribution area.

In many utilities, the maximum grid capacity is traditionally assessed based on the sum of the contracted capacity. The contracted capacity is different for residential, commercial and industrial customers:

  1. For residential (and small commercial) consumers, it is defined by the value of the Master Circuit Breaker (MCB);
  2. For large commercial and industrial consumers, it is defined in a service agreement as an agreed & contracted capacity.

However, this value is often oversized, either historically, when the customer needed to learn of their consumption or because they did not compare the contracted capacity value with their accurately measured time-series data. These unnecessary high contracted capacity values impact the utility because they influence the grid dimensioning and maximum capacity. 

Accurate actual and contracted grid capacity analysis are essential for utilities. This analysis allows utilities to determine whether the spare capacity is higher or smaller, resulting in savings of significant investment costs by reinforcing the grid only in places where it is strictly necessary.

 

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