FERC Natural Gas 101 February 22-23 Houston, TX
Non-Wire Alternatives

Examining the Viability of Alternatives to Traditional Infrastructure Upgrades

October 21-22 :: Phoenix, AZ

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This symposium will evaluate the viability of NWA projects as an emerging utility and power system resource option, analyzing how the industry can apply NWAs to optimize existing assets and infrastructure.

It will provide a thorough primer on NWA definitions, functions, technology and resource types, evaluating case studies of existing NWA projects, as well as what economic and regulatory incentives are necessary to make them viable through least-cost planning and action.



8:30 – 10:00 a.m. :: Non-Wire Alternatives: Overview, Definitions, & Industry Perspectives

  • Traditional solutions to aging transmission and distribution assets
  • Industry drivers for non-wire alternative (NWA) solutions
  • Non-wire alternative resources and technologies overview
    • Distribution grid applications
    • Transmission grid applications
  • Goals of non-wire alternative projects
  • Barriers and hindrance of widespread adoption
  • Market-based solutions that would incentivize non-wire alternative development and deployment
  • Utility strategies and business models – how might they evolve as NWAs increasingly proliferate the grid?
  • Key procurement and contracting considerations for non-wire alternative projects
  • Varying regional, utility, & general power industry perspectives on NWA solutions

Jason Prince, Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

10:15 – 11:45 a.m. :: Regulatory and Policy Drivers for T&D Non-Wire Alternative Options

Prevailing policies typically do not incentivize utilities to innovate or consider alternatives outside of the traditional, costly T&D investment upgrades to maintain the grid. 

Many states are evolving their regulatory processes to incentivize utility implementation of non-wire alternative projects.  Furthermore, there existing FERC orders require transmission planners to consider cost-effective alternatives to traditional transmission infrastructure build outs.  This session will examine the regulatory and policy drivers for non-wire alternatives on the T&D grid at the national and state level, addressing:

  • Challenges and opportunities for enabling NWA growth with regulatory mechanisms and integrated planning practices on the T&D grids
  • Requirements of the Federal Power Act and FERC orders for transmission planners to consider cost-effective alternatives to transmission
  • NWA in recent state and federal policy proceedings
  • Vehicles by which states are embracing change
  • How NWA solutions can be an attractive option by dramatically reducing price tags for ratepayers

Paul DeCotis, Senior Director – Energy and Utility Practice, West Monroe Partners

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. :: California ISO (CAISO): Non-Wire Project Activity and Implementation in T&D

  • Evolving operational needs on the California grid
  • Transmission planning process for NWA projects
  • Distribution planning and implementation of NWA projects
    • Storage
    • Demand response
  • Market interactions and features related to NWA projects
    • Market expansion and enhancements
    • California’s 100% renewable energy goal

James Price, Senior Advisor – Market Analysis & Development, Renewable Integration, CAISO

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Case Study: Xcel Energy’s Geo-Targeting Pilot Project

  • Timeline of Xcel NWA-related activities
  • Colorado geo-targeting pilot: capacity upgrade in Southwest Denver due to load growth
  • Project objectives:
    • DSM adoption
    • coordinated dispatch demand response in the distribution context
    • Cost effectiveness and technical performance
  • System need and portfolio solution
  • Initial results and stakeholder feedback

Eric Maurer, Product Manager, Xcel Energy

3:00 – 3:45 p.m. ::  Case Study: Arizona Public Service (APS) NWA Use Cases

  • APS – actively seeking non-wires solutions and expanding use cases
  • Customer solutions beyond modern rates to provide grid benefits
    • Technology agnostic rates – impact on customer value for system benefits
    • Utilizing time of use customer DER interaction to lower bills
    • System level impacts from price signals
  • Battery storage and DER case studies and results
    • Punkin Center energy storage dispatch
    • Microgrid development
    • SPP batter energy storage system
    • Intermediate feeder energy storage system
  • Bulk battery while performing voltage management
  • Intermediate battery
  • Various customer solutions

Kerri Carnes, Manager – Customer Technology Product Development, Arizona Public Service (APS)

3:45 – 4:45 p.m. :: Energy Efficiency, Demand Response, & DERs: Determining Optimal NWA Resources Combinations for Specific Solutions

  • Evaluation of application of demand side and supply side solutions in deferring capital investments
    • Utility and customer-sited solar and storage
    • Electric Vehicles (EVs)
    • Demand response
    • Energy efficiency
  • Non-wire alternative planning methodologies & processes
    • investigating optimal NWA solutions to meet the needs at specific feeders and substations
    • Coordinating DER and demand-side research with distribution planning
    • Determining optimal resource combinations
    • Choosing between solutions and determining a portfolio of solutions for specific demand reduction needs
  • Peak reduction case studies: modeling effectiveness of NWA technologies in meeting peak reduction needs
    • LAWDP: determining solution combination for peak reduction needs
    • BC Hydro: forecasting savings potential with demand response and energy efficiency

Kristina Kelly, Senior Consultant, DNV GL


8:30 – 10:00 a.m. :: Commonwealth Edison: Methodology for DER Valuation Based on Location, Time and Performance

This session will discuss internal methodologies being developed by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) to evaluate the value of DERs on the distribution grid based on the factors of location, time and resource performance.

Nayeem Mohammad Abdullah, Principal Project Manager – Emerging Technologies, ComEd

Aleksi Paaso, Smart Grid Manager, ComEd

10:15 – 11:00 a.m. :: Case Study: Baltimore Gas & Electric’s Substation Battery Project

  • Working to advance customer experience in Maryland
  • Deferring or eliminating costly new substation through battery storage
  • Project overview: BGE’s first Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Cold Spring Substation
    • Goals: meeting peak demand during hottest summer days, which was forecasted to exceed substation capacity
    • Estimated customer savings & results

Richard Garbark, Engineer, Baltimore Gas & Electric (BG&E) (invited)

11:00 – 11:45 a.m. :: Evaluating the Economics and Value of Services for NWA Projects

  • Evaluating overall economics for NWA projects
  • Analyzing full value of services NWAs provide to the market
    • Full spectrum of ancillary services
  • Determining how ancillary services provided by NWA projects determine overall project viability
    • How quickly do market values need to materialize to make a project viable?
    • What scenarios of capacity payments and revenue outcome indicate that a project is economically viable?

David South, Senior Principal- Energy & Utilities, West Monroe Energy Partners

11:45 a.m. :: Program Adjourns