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Non-Wires Alternatives (NWA) are solutions for Distribution Utilities and DSOs to implement alternatives to grid asset upgrades based on managing customer developed and managed DER assets for load relief.  Regulators increasingly require the deployment of NWA as part of utilities’ economic integrated resource plans.

Our Non-Wires Alternatives solutions use our Strata Grid product to deliver the distribution utility requirements and our Cirrus Flex product to deliver the DER asset operator solution.

Problem

Historically, load growth was relatively predictable and steady. When load reached a certain threshold, if only for a few hours each year, a grid upgrade would be triggered.  Electric loads are expected to grow further in the coming years as the heat and transport sectors are electrified. The use of customer DER assets with the availability of DERMS provides new opportunities to provide cost-effective alternatives to grid upgrades to address this growing load demand. The challenge for distribution utilities is to manage the DER NWA to provide an effective, secure and economic alternative to grid investments.

Customers are more aware of the potential to offer flexibility services, flexing their own DER assets in return for reduced tariffs or service payments. NWAs are estimated to save utilities millions of dollars in avoided capital expenditure. The challenge for DER developers is to maximize the value of NWA provision to utilities.

Strata Grid and Cirrus Flex

Solution

Our NWA solutions for utilities are based on our Strata Grid product which connects DER to grid operations to deliver highly localized and dependable load relief.  The core product features of real-time grid monitoring and control, wide-area multi-site DER management and tight integration to utility systems and processes deliver exactly what utilities require for effective NWA implementation and roll-out at scale.

Strata Grid supports the market for locational flexibility services, delivers the control response through a combination of scheduled and real-time control, and provides a full suite of data management functions for performance monitoring, settlement and reporting. 

For the owners and operators of NWA assets, our Cirrus Flex product manages the delivery of NWA services to meet utility requirements from front-of-meter merchant DER assets, Industrial & Commercial DER deployments and aggregated residential DER.  Our solution secures the anchor revenue stream from dedicated NWA DER assets as well as secondary revenue streams for on-site DER with other operational or revenue generating priorities. We integrate the operational, control and data flows to customer systems and processes and provide the required interfaces to utility systems that dispatch and monitor NWA.

Case Studies

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