Integrated Distribution System and Urban District Planning With High Renewable Penetrations

Kate Doubleday, Faeza Hafiz, Andrew Parker, Tarek Elgindy, Anthony Florita, Gregor Henze, Graziano Salvalai, Shanti Pless, Bri Mathias Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus Citations


Recent efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions have resulted in the development of sustainable, smart districts with highly energy efficient buildings, renewable distributed energy resources (DERs), and support for alternative modes of transportation. However, there is typically little if any coordination between the district developers and the local utility. Most attention is paid to the district's annual net load and generation without considering their instantaneous imbalance or the connecting network's state. This presents an opportunity to learn lessons from the design of distribution feeders for districts characterized by low loads and high penetrations of DERs that can be applied to the distribution grid at large. The aim of this overview is to summarize current practices in sustainable district planning as well as advances in modeling and design tools for incorporating the power distribution system into the district planning process. Recent developments in the modeling and optimization of district power systems, including their coordination with multi-energy systems and the impact of high penetration levels of renewable energy, are introduced. Sustainable districts in England and Japan are reviewed as case studies to illustrate the extent to which distribution system planning has been considered in practice. Finally, newly developed building-to-grid modeling tools that can facilitate coordinated district and power system design with utility involvement are introduced, along with suggestions for future research directions. This article is categorized under: Wind Power > Systems and Infrastructure Energy Policy and Planning > Systems and Infrastructure Energy Efficiency > Systems and Infrastructure.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere339
Number of pages15
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-71305


  • distributed energy resources
  • distribution system planning
  • net zero energy
  • urban planning


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