Geotargeted Distributed Clean Energy Initiative
Jenny Edwards, Rabi Vandergon, Josh Quinnell, Ph.D., Jon Blaufuss, Stacy Boots Camp
Geotargeting, more commonly known as non-wires alternatives, involves devising solutions to capacity upgrades that are applied in a targeted, geographic manner. This approach provides Minnesota utilities with the opportunity to serve customers by using clean, distributed energy resources, such as efficiency, demand response, battery storage, and distributed renewable energy to limit needed transmission and distribution infrastructure upgrades due to load growth.
In addition to deferring capital investments, non-wires alternatives can also mitigate environmental emissions, such as greenhouse gases, mercury, and fine particulates. Traditional utility planning involves forecasting electric load growth by service area and building larger systems to supply areas where electric demand growth will eventually exceed installed capacity. However, a larger capacity grid may not always be the best or most cost-effective method to reliably meet electric demand.
This project tested non-wires alternatives as an effective way to reduce the costs and environmental impact of the electric utility sector by determining the potential for distributed energy resources to replace planned system upgrades.
A non-wires pilot ran in two communities within Xcel Energy’s Minnesota service territory between June 2019 and June 2020. In addition, we tested the ability of existing demand response to mitigate peaks and support large scale solar integration during late afternoon ramping. Xcel Energy’s existing energy efficiency and demand response programs provided the base for these efforts and were coupled with enhanced rebates and targeted marketing to achieve the high participation necessary for success.
Executive Summary (PDF, 6 pages)
Full Report (PDF, 69 pages)
Appendix A: Demand Response Field Test Protocol and Results
Appendix B: Community Based Social Marketing Lessons from Energy Efficiency Case Studies
Appendix C: Technical Detail
Additional Papers and Presentations
Paper for ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings Presentation for AESP 2019 Summer Conference Presentation
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).