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AEP Smart Grid Demonstration Project: Virtual Power Plant Simulator (VPPS)
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Lead Organization:
American Electric Power Service Corporation (AEP)
HQ Location:
South Bend, Indiana
Project Contact Information:
 Tom Jones

Matt Wakefield (mwakefield@epri.com)
Tom Jones (tljones@aep.com)

Project URL:
Project Summary:

According to [1], this project which began implementations in 2009 was intended to address functionality and performance of a fully integrated and robust smart grid, from end-use to regional transmission operator (RTO). It was designed to leverage 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, it has been possible to integrate other distributed and end-use technologies that were being evaluated by AEP, either in a real system environment or at the 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 were evaluated and reported separately as part of this EPRI project; however, the simulation platforms were to enable EPRI 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, system operation can be simulated as though it was integrated into a PJM market. In this way AEP could create a very robust representation of a “virtual power plant”, leveraging real device and system information and data.
In [2], an AEP Case Study on Multiple Technology Aggregate Response had been reported. In this study, the researchers concluded that operation of two or more systems on the same circuit, such as CES, volt-var control systems, PV, or EV, would necessitate a change in dispatch or control system algorithms.

Additional Information:

- Tom Jones and Tom Walker, "AEP/EPRI Smart Grid Demo: Virtual Power Plant Simulation", presented at the Smart Grid Advisory Meeting, June 23, 2009. URL: http://www.smartgrid.epri.com/doc/9-AEP%20Smart%20Grid%20Project%20Overv...
- AEP Smart Grid Demonstration Project, September 2009. URL:


[1] EPRI AEP Factsheet, "AEP Smart Grid Demonstration Project: Virtual Power Plant Simulator (VPPS)", November 2011. URL: http://smartgrid.epri.com/doc/EPRI%20Smart%20Grid%20Advisory%20Update%20...
[2] EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative 5-Year Update, August 2013. URL: http://www.epri.com/abstracts/Pages/ProductAbstract.aspx?ProductId=00000...