Due to high solar penetration in the San Diego and the southern Orange County region served by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a significant portion of the utility’s load is met by distributed energy resources (DER).
With over 1 GW of DER capacity now part of the regional electricity grid, including over 1,100MW of private rooftop solar (owned by over 160,000 residential and commercial customers), hundreds of utility-scale DERs are now interconnected. As more customers install solar and other distributed resources, it has become increasingly critical for SDG&E to understand its customer load on a more granular scale, both current and forecasted, so operational decisions can be made to ensure reliability and safety.
SDG&E distribution system operators needed to know where the DER was connected and how they impact the demand curve. To provide full operational visibility for each generation resource on the distribution grid, the utility developed real-time and proactive forecast models for each DER asset and customer load. The multidimensional profiles account for the location, weather, solar incidence, condition of use, and other attributes unique to the load and DER asset.
These DER models work with real-time distribution power flow to provide a current outlook and future look-ahead into SDG&E’s distribution operations as part of our Advanced Distribution Management System. The implementation of these models were inspired by the underlying problems associated with distributed energy resources, which by nature are intermittent and often not visible to grid operators because they are
owned by third parties.