65. Sustainable Power System Design & Performance Assessment Program
The environmental and economic sustainability of the United States, and nations across the globe, is threatened by an obsolete electrical power system that is costly, dirty and vulnerable. The electricity supply industry is a major contributor of carbon emissions and the distribution system is extremely susceptible to the impact of severe weather – the recent Hurricane Sandy has resulted in an estimated $30 to $50 billion in economic damage. The analog electromechanical infrastructure of the US electricity system has been starved of innovation for decades.
While the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has infused $27.2 billion into alternative and renewable energy projects, electric vehicles and efficiency programs, these initiatives lack a method to specify designs or evaluate projects that produce desired, and critically important, environmental or economic results. This Solution provides the first comprehensive environmental and consumer-centered method.
The Power System Design and Performance Assessment (PSDPA) program offers a set of criteria for designing and assessing performance of electricity systems. Modeled after USGBC’s Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED), it is the first comprehensive, performance-based method of its kind. PSDPA establishes much needed performance metrics and design considerations that electricity stakeholders can use to create power systems that are environmentally friendly, provide higher power quality, are more efficient and reduce the cost of operations while meeting the needs of 21st Century customers.
The PSDPA criteria address four areas of performance:
ENABLING CUSTOMER ACTION
With increased demand and stress on the grid forecasted, customer engagement will be key to improving electrical system performance. This category provides a set of criterion to evaluate a customer’s ability to invest and participate in improvements with more options, information and capabilities.
Customers expect high-quality service from their electricity provider at competitive rates. This category provides a set of criterion in terms of operational efficiency, risk avoidance, waste minimization and quantifying value produced or opportunity costs.
RELIABILITY, POWER QUALITY AND SAFETY
This category leverages common performance criteria to ensure that the quality of power and public safety are not compromised in the quest for ever-cheaper power. The criterion address sustained and momentary interruptions, ensuring power to key facilities, reliability attributes, power quality improvements and risk mitigation.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND ENVIRONMENT
Environmental responsibility and efficient resource use is increasingly becoming an expectation for both companies and consumers. This category provides a set of criterion that addresses power supply energy efficiency, air emissions, water consumption, renewable energy credits and sustainable design features.
The criterion included in the PSDPA guide three critical measurements: first, defining the upper limits and goals of electricity grid performance in the four categories; second, quantifying the value that portions of the grid provide beyond the existing grid; and third, quantifying the gap in performance to the upper limit of the criteria while providing a path towards improvement.
The PSDPA program emphasizes the value of microgrids – locally based power grids that leverage private investment to help utilities and customers achieve higher levels of electricity performance while protecting key facilities during bulk power outages. Microgrids may vary in their technology and configuration, but are capable of a variety of functions such as incorporating distributed generation, providing ancillary services, and/or islanding. These digitally controlled, clean intelligent grids serve as the building blocks of a global smart grid transformation.
The Power System Design and Performance Assessment program is the driving force behind the non-profit Perfect Power Institute’s (PPI) mission to help electricity industry stakeholders build the capability to accelerate investment and innovation that dramatically improves system performance through the following applications of PSDPA:
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND DESIGN SYSTEM
The PSDPA program draws from nearly a decade of research and international benchmarking conducted by the Galvin Electricity Initiative and PPI. The development of the standard has included a rigorous review process that engaged a diverse set of stakeholders, including UL, Electric Power Research Institute, and US Green Building Council. The current program criterion establishes an ambitious standard for microgrids to achieve performance not yet seen in the grid. Additionally, the program will continue to evolve in order to keep abreast of technology progress and performance demands.
DEMONSTRATION SITES AND EARLY ADOPTERS
The PSDPA program will also be used to engage customers in the application, testing and promotion of the program. These demonstration sites will showcase the performance potential by assisting early adopters in the planning for and documentation of success strategies. PPI has worked with microgrids such as university campuses (Illinois IT, Princeton, UT Austin), municipalities (Naperville, Chattanooga), military campuses and building developments (Hudson Yards in NYC). PPI is also actively engaged in attracting international participants.
STAKEHOLDER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION
The PSDPA program will serve as the foundation for a series of educational and training programs that integrates quality management. The electricity professional of tomorrow will lead the transformation of the grid from an analog, one-way power flow system to a digital, two-way intelligent power system that leverages investments from local governments, entrepreneurs and customers in system improvements.
Why it should be recognized:
The Power System Design and Performance Assessment program provides stakeholders with a comprehensive set of design considerations and performance outcomes that can transform our obsolete power infrastructure. PSDPA can accelerate system improvements by quantifying performance objectives, identifying wasted resources and providing a path to justify investments. Pursuit of higher system performance encourages major technology advances, significant manufacturing development opportunities, jobs and new export opportunities. Additionally, through evaluation, demonstration and education, PSDPA is designed to provide stakeholders with the following benefits:
• Focus on sustainable performance results
• Benchmark performance to global standards
• Establish specifications and accountability for suppliers
• Common language for stakeholder to design collaboratively
• Build trust, credibility and customer satisfaction
• Competitive differentiation
Leaders worldwide want to embrace the most efficient, reliable and clean energy technologies that achieve the greatest power system improvements at the lowest cost. Application of the Power System Design and Performance Assessment program, combined with the foundation of intelligent microgrids, ensures that the investments being made are producing the sustainable results necessary to mitigate climate change, improve power system reliability, reduce operating costs and engage an informed customer in smart energy consumption.