Onsite Generation & Ghost Load Analysis

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)

Accurately forecasting the load, including the potential for ghost loads, is crucial for optimized grid management. Indicators of ghost loads, like total generation per circuit or % of the circuit’s load covered by renewables, are fundamental building blocks for correct load forecasting.

The Utility Problem

With the trend of wide adaptation of new technologies in the distribution grid, like microgeneration (onsite PV), behind-the-meter energy storage and vehicle-to-grid (V2G), traditional approaches to grid management, assessment and forecasting need to adapt to these new circumstances. A particular focus should be dedicated to adapting the load forecasting techniques since load forecasting (usually done on substation or feeder level) is a critical activity for every distribution utility. 

One of the utilities’ chief concerns with new load forecasting technologies is the possibility of a “hidden” or “ghost” load. A ghost load on the system is masked by local onsite generation (for example, PV generation or other DERs). The utility’s system could be expected to supply this load, yet its existence may be hidden during normal operations. Utilities might also have concerns regarding their ability to accommodate an increase in loading due to these technologies in terms of grid capacity constraints.

For utilities to correctly forecast the amount of load, the knowledge of the consumption, offset by onsite generation, is crucial. Indicators of the ghost load, like total generation per circuit or % of the circuit’s load covered by renewables, are fundamental building blocks for correct load forecasting. 

 

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