Beyond Hosting Capacity: Using Shortest-Path Methods to Minimize Upgrade Cost Pathways

Nicolas Gensollen, Kelsey Horowitz, Bryan Palmintier, Fei Ding, Barry Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


This paper presents a graph-based forward looking algorithm applied to distribution planning in the context of distributed photovoltaic penetration. We study the target hosting capacity problem where the objective is to find the least-cost sequence of system upgrades to reach a predefined hosting capacity target value. We show that commonly used short-term cost minimization approaches often lead to suboptimal long-term solutions. By comparing our method against such myopic techniques on real distribution systems, we show that our algorithm is able to reduce the overall integration costs by looking at future decisions. Because hosting capacity is hard to compute, this problem requires efficient methods to search the space. We demonstrate that heuristics using domain-specific knowledge can be efficiently used to improve the algorithm performance, such that real distribution systems can be studied.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8721148
Pages (from-to)1051-1056
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-71565 for related conference paper preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-74325


  • Decisions
  • hosting capacity
  • optimization
  • shortest path


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond Hosting Capacity: Using Shortest-Path Methods to Minimize Upgrade Cost Pathways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this