Hosting capacity analyses are the first step for utilities seeking to create a holistic approach to incorporating distributed energy resources.
A new Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) report released this week offers a very useful review of the latest methods and metrics of hosting capacity analyses in some key U.S. markets, including California, New York and Minnesota. Each state has pushed utilities to undertake a version of an HCA, using different data inputs and methodologies, but aimed at a set of common goals.
In the most restrictive sense, utilities need to know the limits of individual circuits and subsections, to give developers and customers the data to understand why they can, or can’t, bring new DERs online without adversely impacting power quality or reliability and requiring infrastructure upgrades
But HCAs also serve a positive role of adding data and streamlining processes to assist developers with interconnections, and to allow utilities to better plan DERs into their current, and future, grid.