ProsumerGrid has recently been awarded $3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will be used to develop a highly specialized and interactive software tool capable of simulating the operation of emerging Distribution System Operators (DSOs) which includes the optimization of millions of distributed energy resources.
The electricity industry has identified Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Distributed System Platforms (DSPs) as the missing functions needed to realize an electricity grid that is based on distributed energy resources (DERs) and on active customers. The DSO will provide the market mechanisms needed to empower consumers, prosumers, and DERs to optimize system operation, offer and exchange DER energy services, and achieve an integrated grid.
DSOs will transform distribution systems as we know them. They are mandated in the New York Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative and are being considered in several other states. In order to successfully implement DSOs, it is of utmost importance for the industry to develop a vision of how DSOs will operate and a tool that can support the design of complex DSO functions. While there are many propositions regarding DSO design, a tool that can simulate DSO operations and that can support testing of those propositions, does not exist today.
The team formed by Prosumer Grid, NRECA, Newport Consulting, and the New York State Smart Grid Consortium proposes to develop a highly specialized and interactive software tool capable of simulating the operation of emerging DSOs and DERs at the physical, information, and market levels. The software will offer electricity industry analysts, engineers, economists, and policy makers a “design studio environment” in which various propositions of participant roles, market rules, business processes, and services exchange can be studied to achieve a robust DSO design. The software will utilize a powerful decentralized decision-making algorithm, and it will extend state-of-the-art grid solvers with a set of new DSO modules. The system will provide a number of urgently needed but currently unavailable simulation capabilities including: