The mission of this group is to bring together utility professionals in the power industry who are in the thick of the digital utility transformation. 


The DSO from a Customer’s Point of View: A Case Study

Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
  • 143 items added with 41,444 views
  • Nov 4, 2016 4:30 pm GMT

Jose Q. Public comes home with a new widget to plug into his home to provide new entertainment channels and options. Jose plugs the device into the power in his home and then uses his phone to connect the widget to his home management system. The home management system recognizes the new widget and pulls the drivers and supporting information from the widget’s manufacturer’s server. 

The home control system automatically sets ups up the device and sends a series of questions to Jose’s phone. The questions range from the priority of the device in the overall home management hierarchy to what level of security and remote access Jose wants. Since this is a new device, the home management system downloads a composite profile of how other owners use the widget and its energy consumption. 

Since Jose made this a ‘must run’ system, the home management system reserves capacity in the home’s battery system, so that the system can run at night, as well as in the daytime. The home management system then updates the aggregator that Jose has subscribed to, that the available merchant battery capacity has decreased (because of the new widget) and confirms that the remaining merchant capacity is enough to meet the contract that Jose has with the aggregator. 

Next, the aggregator reviews the available resources on Jose’s circuit and determines that with the changes in available merchant storage, that Jose is now able to add more panels to his rooftop PV array and increase the size of the stationary battery in his yard. The aggregator notifies Jose of the planned changes and what impacts it will have on Jose’s contract. Jose agrees to the changes and the aggregator, acting as Jose’s agent, files for updating the interconnect agreement with the grid. 

The DSO reviews the application for updating the interconnect agreement, running both the quick analytics and the more detailed studies that are required because the peak level of PV production exceeds 90% of the capacity of the feeder. Based on these studies, the DSO approves the connection and responds to the aggregator. The aggregator pulls the right permits from the municipality and updates the DSO on the planned start and finish dates for the upgrades to Jose’s premise. 

The aggregator hits a snag on the installation because of a late supplier, and so informs the DSO, who updates the completion date and updates the 30 and 60 day (medium term) forecasts. It turns out the delay is significant to the planned operation of the grid on that circuit and so the DSO offers the aggregator an incentive to meet the original schedule to keep the supply/demand forecast in balance. The aggregator determines the incentive is enough to expedite the material from a second supplier and that the supplier has the material on hand, and agrees to meet the original schedule. The materials arrive and the installation is completed on time. 

The DSO is informed of the commissioning and operational availability. The aggregator updates Jose’s home management system of the new capabilities, and the home management system then downloads the specifics of the new storage and PV array from the manufacturer’s sites. The home management system calculates a new schedule to support Jose’s home needs and the recharging of Jose’s electric vehicle based on Jose’s typical schedule. Jose is informed of the new charging capability and he decides to change his availability at work, to take advantage of the new flexibility, allowing him to bid for an evening shift instead of the overnight shift he has been stuck in for the last 2 years. It also allows him to bid for a manager position, which will eventually allow him to add more new widgets to his home. 

When Jose gets the new shift, he informs the home management system of the new hours that he will be home and when the car will be available to charge. The home management system updates its forecasts and schedules and informs Jose’s aggregator of the forecast new load curves and changes in demand. The aggregator then uses this as part of their bottoms up forecasting and relays the significant changes to the DSO, who notes the changes as appropriate.  Jose’s system will then remain “as is” until he decides to add more widgets.

This article is the second in a three-part series. To read the other two:


Doug Houseman's picture
Thank Doug for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member
Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.

No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »