Grid-tied distributed generation systems to sustain the smart grid transformation: tariff analysis and generation sharing
Renewable energy sources (RES) integration
Distributed power generation
Smart grid transformation
In this paper a novel model is being proposed and considered by ENEL—the largest electric utility in Chile—and analyzed thoroughly, whereby electric power control and energy management for a 60-apartments’ residential building is presented as an example of the utility’s green energy program, part of its Smart Grid Transformation plan to install grid-tied distributed generation (DG) systems, namely microgrids, with solar generation and energy storage in Santiago, Chile. The particular tariffs scheme analysis shown is part of the overall projected tentative benefits of adopting the new scheme, which will require the utility’s customers to adapt their consumption behavior to the limited supply of renewable energy by changing energy consumption habits and schedules in a way that maximizes the capacity and efficiency of the grid-tied microgrid with energy storage. The change in behavior entails rescheduling power consumption to hours where the energy supply capacity in the DG system is higher and price is lower as well as curtailing their power needs in certain hourly blocks so as to maximize DG system’s efficiency and supply capacity. Nevertheless, the latter presents a problem under the perspective of ENEL’s renewable energy sources (RES) integration plan with the electric utility’s grid supply, which, up until now and due to current electric tariffs law, has not had a clear solution. Under said scenario, a set of strategies based on energy homeostasis principles for the coordination and control of the electricity supply versus customers’ demand has been devised and tested. These strategies which consider various scenarios to conform to grid flexibility requirements by ENEL, have been adapted for the specific needs of these types of customers while considering the particular infrastructure of the network. Thus, the microgrid adjusts itself to the grid in order to complement the grid supply while seeking to maximize green supply capacity and operational efficiency, wherein the different energy users and their energy consumption profiles play a crucial role as “active loads”, being able to respond and adapt to the needs of the grid-connected microgrid while enjoying economic benefits. Simulation results are presented under different tariff options, system’s capacity and energy storage alternatives, in order to compare the proposed strategies with the actual case of traditional grid’s electricity distribution service, where no green energy is present. The results show the advantage of the proposed tariffs scheme, along with power control and energy management strategies for the integration of distributed power generation within ENEL’s Smart Grid Transformation in Chile.