South Australia Power Networks – LV Network Strategy
30 July 2020
SA Power Networks (SAPN) is experiencing very high penetration levels of DER (notably solar photovoltaic, with behind the meter storage rapidly accelerating). This is causing issues with regard to the planning and operation of the LV network, requiring a strategic approach ahead of the next Regulatory Reset.
We identified a number of prototypical LV circuits that could be considered as being representative of the majority of SAPN’s network. We worked with SAPN to gather data on a number of circuits within each prototypical class and performed detailed power systems analysis on these to identify the levels of DER that they could accommodate before breaching voltage or reverse power limits.
We used these findings to create a parametric model of the entire SAPN LV network and hence identify the number of networks at risk of breaching the levels over the next decade. We then compared a number of different management strategies to cater for this growth; including network augmentation, curtailment and more dynamic network management.
This approach clearly allowed SAPN to understand which of the possible strategies delivered the best value moving forward and represented a least overall cost to both the network (augmentation expenditure) and the customer (energy curtailed). It facilitated clear communication of highly technical issues to a range of stakeholders in terms of the costs and benefits involved. SAPN expect to use our report as a direct part of their regulatory submission.
This project ran from December 2017 to December 2018
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