The distribution system operating goals have always included maintaining a safe environment, providing reliable service (including restoring service quickly when the lights go out), maintaining acceptable voltage, being reasonably efficient, and protecting the assets. While these fundamental operating objectives still apply, the Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI) R&D activities in advanced distribution applications show clearly that today's utilities are seeking to accomplish much more:
•Maximize efficiency and reliability
•Improve system performance
•Control the growth of demand and promote energy conservation
•Accommodate as many distributed energy resources (DERs) as possible, and
•Handle major new loads such as electric vehicle chargers
A fundamental strategy being implemented by an increasing number of utilities to accomplish many of these objectives is Distribution Automation (DA).