A new tool to assess the benefits and costs of distributed energy resources from the Electric Power Research Institute

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released The Integrated Grid: A Benefit-Cost Framework in February 2015, which may help resolve the controversy brewing about the benefits and costs that distributed solar power systems bring to the electric grid.

EPRI’s report presents a transparent, consistent, four-part methodology for assessing the benefits and costs of transitioning to a more Integrated Grid. This approach quantifies the impacts of distributed energy resources on the interrelated distribution and bulk power systems, and monetizes these impacts to inform decision-making. New pilot projects will put the framework to the test.

EPRI, whose mission is to advance “safer, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity for society,” says that the new protocols outlined in The Integrated Grid: A Benefit-Cost Framework seeks “to foster collaboration in five core efforts”:

  • Grid modernization to support distributed energy resource (DER) integration
  • Strategies and tools for grid planning and operation
  • Interconnection rules and standards
  • Pilots to verify and refine DER integration protocols
  • Informing policy and regulatory discussions

Read more about and download the full report here.