The Impact of Behind-the-Meter Heterogeneous Distributed Energy Resources on Distribution Grids: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The increasing integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) on the electric grid brings new challenges and opportunities for utility grid operations. With the rapid deployment of DERs, there is emerging interest in integrating these controllable devices with utility operations at all levels for monitoring and management. Different types of DERs such as Photovoltaics (PV), energy storage, electric vehicles (EVs), etc. have varying effects on the grid based on how and where they are deployed. Again, the DER deployment and its impact are network-dependent, while the traditional electric grids were not designed to host DERs. To understand the challenges with increasing behind-the-meter (BTM) DERs and to identify the needs in deploying advanced controls, a comprehensive grid impact study is indispensable. This paper investigates the impacts of integrating a mix of DERs in the utility distribution network in Colorado, U.S. Firstly, BTM DERs at the residential scale including distributed PV; battery energy storage systems (BESS); heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) load; electric water heater (EWH) load; and EVs are modeled. The impacts of integrating these resources on the distribution network are evaluated by conducting time-series simulations for different scenarios considering different days to capture the worst-case conditions. Monte Carlo simulations are conducted to generate the realistic EV charging profile. The voltage issues, substation transformer loadings, and critical nodes in the network are identified with the incorporation of uncoordinated EV charging loads and other DER in the network. This analysis helps visualize the DER impact on the grid, identify the challenges, and provides an insight into the new distribution management and control needs to enable reliable and resilient distribution grid operations. Additionally, further analysis is performed to estimate the daily residential electricity cost with the inclusion of DERs under time-of-use tariffs. The result shows the daily residential electricity cost reduced by 20:7% on average with DERs compared to the case without DERs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2020
Event47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 47) -
Duration: 15 Jun 202021 Aug 2020


Conference47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 47)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-74736


  • behind-the-meter
  • distributed energy resource
  • distribution network
  • OpenDSS
  • voltage profile


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