California leads the country in progressing on deployment of distributed energy resources. The Public Utility Commission’s Distribution Resources Plan proceeding (R. 14-08-013) continues the state’s work in developing supporting policies to enable increasing DERs in a cost-effective manner that promotes the state’s clean energy and climate goals.  More than Smart’s framework paper, “More than Smart: A Framework to Make the Distribution Grid More Open, Efficient, and Resilient”  paved the development of a roadmap of how California plans to integrate increasing levels of DER.
To achieve the DER future outlined in California’s DRP, the Commission required the development of two tools to help identify optimal locations for the deployment of distributed energy resources. More than Smart now leads two of the DRP Working Groups to develop those tools.
 
The Integration Capacity Analysis (ICA) is a tool that specifies how much capacity the distribution system has to host DERs. Understanding and implementing hosting capacity has been discussed in multiple states, including Hawaii and New York. California is currently a frontrunner in its development of feeder-level hosting capacity analysis – looking forward, hosting capacity results will be used to improve and streamline the interconnection process, and inform the distribution planning process.
 
The Locational Net Benefits Analysis (LNBA) tool provides information on locational benefits and costs of DERs on the distribution systems. Understanding the locational value of DERs has significant implications on where deploying DERs may be most optimal to the distribution grid. California continues to explore the complete suite of opportunities where this analysis can provide the most value.
MTS engages in discussion on methodology behind the tool, and how the tool should be applied, with a variety of stakeholders that include utilities, government representatives, nonprofit advocates, DER providers, and industry associations. All materials developed for the Working Groups can be found at: http://www.drpwg.org.