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Market Research Report

Volt/VAR Control and Optimization: Technology, Applications, Regulation and Business Models

Published by Greentech Media Inc. Product code 630802
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Volt/VAR Control and Optimization: Technology, Applications, Regulation and Business Models
Published: April 27, 2018 Content info:

Volt/VAR control (VVC) systems comprise a broad collection of hardware and software subsystems whose collective function is to monitor and control power quality through the management of voltage and reactive power levels across the distribution network. VVC systems are a key component of recent distribution automation efforts in the U.S. to monetize multiple streams of value associated with investments in grid modernization and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

Advanced VVC systems are aiming to incorporate the use of utility and customer-owned distributed power electronics (including inverter-based DER) to achieve some combination of improved DER hosting capacity and CVR benefit. Business models for VVC systems are evolving from a sole focus on compliance with voltage standards to include multiple regulated streams of revenue.


This report provides an overview and analysis of the U.S. landscape of volt/VAR control (VVC) systems in the context of distribution systems. It describes and compares the different VVC hardware and software solutions currently available in the industry, characterizing and classifying existing VVC solutions based on key aspects that ultimately shape their architecture: data collection and control algorithms.

The report also provides an overview of the traditional and modern use cases for VVC systems and their corresponding business models and value streams, illustrating them using case studies involving seven different utilities across more than 10 U.S. states.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Managing Systemwide Power Quality
  • 3. Volt/VAR Control System Architectures
  • 4. Volt/VAR Control Utility Business Models
  • 5. CVR at Scale: Case Studies
  • 6. VVC Innovation: Case Studies
  • 7. Appendix

List of Figures

  • VVC Systems: Business Models, Regulatory Mechanisms and Value Streams
  • The New Distribution Volt/VAR Control Ecosystem
  • Power Electronics Within the Low- and Medium-Voltage Grid
  • Services and Streams of Revenue Involved in Volt/VAR Control Systems Benefit-Cost Analysis of Con Ed's AMI Deployment With CVR Benefits
  • Utilities and Highlights of VVC Projects Covered in Two Case Study Sections
  • Configurability and Control Scope of VVC Software Applications
  • Characteristics and Drawbacks of Electromechanical Volt/VAR Control Equipment
  • Operational Timelines for VVC Equipment
  • Power Electronics Within the Low- and Medium- Voltage Grid
  • Substation and Primary VVC Electromechanical Devices Clash With Increasing PV Penetration at the Grid Edge and Secondary Circuits
  • Volt/VAR Control Systems Architectures by Categories and Subcategories
  • Services and Streams of Revenue Involved in Volt/VAR Control Systems
  • Distribution Loss Reduction via Reactive Power Compensation
  • Voltage and Power Quality Standards Compliance via Voltage Regulation
  • Peak Load Reduction via Dynamic Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR)
  • Energy Conservation via Sustained Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR)
  • Distributed Energy Resource Support: Hosting Capacity and Operations
  • Utilities and Highlighted Projects Covered in This Section
  • Duke Energy's Legacy Territories VVC Deployments
  • Architecture of Duke Energy Ohio's VVC and DA Systems
  • Duke Energy's Progress Territory VVC Deployments
  • Infrastructure Behind Progress' Distribution System Demand Response Project
  • Southern Company DEEP Project Budget and Deployments
  • Avista Utilities' Smart Grid Projects VVC Deployments
  • Utilities and Highlights Projects Covered in This Section
  • Solar Partner Program Hardware and Software Deployments
  • Diagram of Solar Partner Program Communications Configuration
  • Timeline of NY REV Demo: BNMC Distribution Service Platform (DSP) Engagement Tool
  • Timeline of NY REV Demo: Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Program
  • BNMC DSP Engagement Tool Deployments
  • Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Program Services and Deployments
  • Hardware and Software Deployments/Procedures for VVC Pilot
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