This project intends to address functionality and performance of a fully integrated and robust smart grid, from end-use to regional transmission operator (RTO). It leverages a foundational system (South Bend, Indiana 10,000 customer pilot) that includes smart meters, communications, end-use tariffs and controls, and distribution automation and volt/var control with robust modeling and simulation platforms (e.g., GridLab-D and OpenDSS).
Through these simulation platforms we are able to integrate other distributed and end-use technologies that are being evaluated by AEP, either in a real system environment or at our Dolan Technology Center, including four MW scale sodium sulfur battery installations, two 70-kW roof-top photovoltaic systems, a new 5.7 kW concentrating solar technology (with 1.2 kW electrical and 4.5 kW thermal outputs), three 60 kW natural gas-fired reciprocating engines (with the potential for combined heat and power), two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, one Ice Bear air conditioning system, two 10 kW wind turbines, and several 25 kW community energy storage systems (CES).
Each of these individual demonstrations will be evaluated and reported separately as part of this EPRI project; however, the simulation platforms will enable us to virtually "install" these same systems on the South Bend system, utilizing real performance and temporal data as input to the simulations and to develop and validate system and component models. From a temporal perspective, we can simulate system operation as though it was integrated into a PJM market. In this way AEP can create a very robust representation of a "virtual power plant", leveraging real device and system information and data.