• OpenUtilities DER Optioneering (Powered by Siemens’ PSS®SINCAL)

    Streamline DER Interconnection Processes

Decision Support for Electric Utilities

The growth of distributed energy resources (DER) onto the power grid has compelled electric utilities, regulators, and other stakeholders to improve interconnection practices and increase their efficiency. However, DER interconnection procedures used over the past decade are now inefficient due to an increase in DER application and project volume, which are creating interconnection challenges and impacting highly skilled engineering resources. Using these outdated procedures lead to increased costs, over-burdened interconnection queues, anxious customer relationships, and, in some cases, regulatory consequences.

OpenUtilities™ DER Optioneering helps avoid these challenges by providing electric utilities with automated screening workflows and analytical methods that streamline DER interconnection approval assessments. The solution allows electric utilities to rapidly process or defer applications for further review. With OpenUtilities DER Optioneering’s automated screening mechanisms, utilities can process interconnection applications more efficiently, drastically improve customer response time, and engage high-value engineering resources when necessary. The screening criteria is configurable and customizable to accommodate local government policies and corporate standards.

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Capabilities
  • Conduct initial screening using any GIS system data source

    • Automate the processing of small and straightforward requests, which require limited review and generally have limited system impact.
  • Manage regulatory reporting and requirements

    • Workflow automation as well as records management and document control have an important role in enabling compliance as the regulatory environment evolves. Since every state has its own regulations, the effectiveness of compliance efforts lies with the ability to meet regulatory requirements supported by a digital workflow.
  • Perform supplemental screening with hosting capacity interconnection assessment analysis

    • Further assess whether interconnection applications that fail the initial screening can be safely interconnected using the hosting capacity analysis module to automate calculation functions, such as load flow, short circuit analysis, protection checks with network adoptions, voltage fluctuations due to DER coming online and offline, and so on. Intelligent decision support provides a quick YES or concludes that a more detailed study is required.
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Planning for DER Penetration and Interconnection
Bentley and Siemens discuss how to integrate DER onto the grid without disrupting current operations
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