Smart Grid Executive Assessments
SGRC has completed smart grid strategy development and business case analysis for 20 electric utilities.
Executive Assessments are valuable for
- utilities just beginning grid modernization as well as
- utilities that are well along in the modernization process and looking to improve investment results
Assessments apply SGRC experience gained in 20 coop and public utility business case analyses along with information on over 200 smart grid applications compiled in the SGRC Smart Grid Experience Database.
"One-size-fits-all" grid modernization strategies often result in disappointing investment returns. Strategy Assessements identify opportunities unique to each utility to increase savings, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction. Most smart grid initiatives can be improved to increase benefits and reduce cost. Reorienting investment priorities, reconsidering timing of initiatives to accelerate benefits of more attractive programs and delaying less attractive options can significantly boost returns. The most important consideration is to revise strategies to be more in tune with unique utility characteristics
Assessments provide executive-level evaluations of grid modernization strategies using basic information provided by the utility along with utility data drawn from regulatory filings including:
- Utility-specific metering, customer engagement, demand response and CVR evaluations,
- Quantitative business case assessment using the SGRC Smart Grid Investment Model (SGIM),
- Onsite presentation of Assessment findings and recommendations including financial evaluations.
Executive Assessment presentations and reports provide utility management and executives information on smart grid application costs and benefits to support planning, prioritization of projects and general assessments of smart grid options. Internal rate of return, net present value, payback, cash flow, cumulative net benefits and other financial measures are provided for smart grid project components including AMI (as appropriate), CVR, demand response and other applications.
Assessments answer a variety of smart grid investment questions such as:
- Will AMI/smart meters savings be enough to justify considering a full deployment?
- Do my wholesale rates and substation/feeder loads provide enough financial incentive to consider CVR?
- Are my wholesale rates and customer end-use loads sufficient to justify investigating demand response programs?
- Which investment areas provide the greatest reduction in costs?
- What are my options for low cost-CVR and limited customer engagement programs?
- Can I reprioritize planned smart grid initiatives to reduce cash flow demands?
- What are my options for outsourcing the various smart grid support services and how do costs and benefits compare?
- How can I avoid the 9-12 month day-on/day-off CVR-Volt/VAR data collection to accelerate savings?
- What is the potential for various customer demand response programs and what kind of participation will I have to achieve to make them cost-effective?
Turnkey Business Case Analysis
SGRC provides comprehensive, detailed business case analysis for all smart grid-related investments including:
- AMI/smart meters
- Conservation voltage reduction
- DA, Volt/VAR applications
- Customr engagement (demand response, pricing)
- Other SG applications
SGRC is independent consulting firm, providing unbiased, objective smart grid utility investment advice consistent with our Texas A&M University roots as a research and service organization develoted to assisting coops and public utilities in addressing smart grid investment challenges.
SGRC business case analysis is unique:
- SGRC, unlike vendors and system integrators, provides only financial analysis, avoiding conflicts of interest
- SGRC business case analysis is comprehensive, including all important smart grid applications
- The SGRC's Smart Grid Investment Model (SGIM) is applied in each application providing quantitative analysis, investment risk analysis and a resource maintained by the SGRC for potential future analysis updates and applications
- SGRC applies hourly load modeling to provide more accurate results of CVR, volt/VAR and demand response applications
- SGIM analysis can evauate substation and feeder level CVR and detailed customer engagement program analysis
- SGRC's use of the SGIM, research database and experience in 20 business case project provides the most cost effective business case analysis.
SGRC also provides initial executive-level evaluations to assess basic smart grid investment options prior to the comprehensive SGRC turnkey analysis.
The SGRC is an independent, objective research and consulting firm
with headquarters in Orlando, Florida. The SGRC was founded by Dr. Jerry Jackson at Texas A&M
University in 2010 as a research
and service project to assist municipal and cooperative utilities with smart grid
investment analysis. The SGRC transitioned
to private sector consulting in January, 2011.
The SGRC continues to be managed and its research led by Dr. Jackson, an energy economist with more than thirty years' experience in new energy technology market analysis, financial model development, utility program development and project management. He was previously a professor at Texas A&M University, chief of the Applied Research Division at Georgia Tech Research Institute, and president of a consulting firm where he has worked with utilities, state regulatory agencies, equipment manufactures and others in addressing energy industry issues.
In addition to Consortium research support staff, additional project team members are assembled from academic and industry organizations to provide expertise for research topics and applications analysis.
Our Edge: The Smart Grid Investment Model (SGIM)
SGRC business case and financial analysis is conducted using the Smart Grid Investment Model(TM) (SGIM) ,
and extensive knowledge of coop and municipal/public utility smart grid investment
issues gained in twenty electric cooperative and public utility business case applications.
The SGIM provides comprehensive, quantitative financial analysis of AMI/smart meters, customer engagement programs including pricing and demand response, distribution automation, CVR and Volt/VAR optimization. Analysis results include quarterly detailed costs and benefits, internal rate of return, net present value, payback periods, discounted payback periods, benefit/cost ratios, cumulative net benefit by quarter and dozens of tables and charts.
The SGRC maintains each utility's Smart Grid Investment Model to ensure that any future analysis can be completed without "reinventing the wheel," saving both time and money required to maintain up-to-date business case assessments recognizing new technologies and vendor proposals.
More on the SGIM.
As an option, the Smart Grid Investment Model can be installed at client utility sites after completion of model implementation and analysis. The model is delivered, online training sessions are conducted and Consortium staff is available to offer telephone support. This option is provided to clients who wish to have in-house access to SGIM investment analysis.
Additional Smart Grid Investment Model Information
For More Information Contact:
Jerry Jackson, Ph.D.
Leader, Smart Grid Research Consortium
37 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 500
Orlando, Fl 32801