Distributed Utility Associates











Distributed Utility Valuation (DUVal) Models

DUVal was designed and is used by Distributed Utility Associates to quantify benefits associated with locating distributed resources (DR) within the electric distribution system and/or at the facility where elecricity is used.

The DUVal methodology is straightforward and provides results that are easy to understand. For utilities, DUVal-U compares DRs to a statistical spread of costs that can be avoided if the DR is used. For customers, DUVal-C uses a bill analysis to compare specific end-users' energy cost with and without a respective DR. Technology, utility cost, and energy/utility price scenarios are easy to test.

DUVal can be used to compare the differential value of DR devices based on air emissions, and it can calculate air emission implications (gross emissions or change in total emissions due to DR use).

DUVal-U, Utility Perspective

Over numerous "trials" DUVal-U determines whether the cost to own and operate a given DR is lower than the standard solution. The standard solution involves generation, transmisions, and distribtion capacity needed to service a given kW of load (fixed costs) plus fuel and O&M (variable costs). The portion of the kWs "in play" for which the DR is cost-competitive indicates the DR's economic market potential. For example, if DUVal is used to evaluate a system with 800 MW of load in play and it finds that a given DR has a lower cost for 21% of the trials/scenarios then 21% is the economic market potential (.21 * 800 = 160 MW).

DUVal-U meets the needs of electric and gas utility corporate planners, technology strategists, and planners who need to estimate DG potential. DUVal requires only readily available data that is easy to understand, enter and process. DUVal-U helps to more aggressively manage ever tightening distribution capital and O&M budgets.

By using DRs, distribution systems can be improved in three ways. First, DG can increase distribution asset utilization by using state-of-the-art and emerging technologies such as small combustion turbines (CTs), fuel cells, batteries and turbogenerators resulting in capital savings. Second, DRs provide enhanced customer service by increasing power quality and reliability. Third, DRs allow distribution capacity to be added in smaller increments as a hedge against uncertain load growth.

DUVal-U enables evaluation of the variability and/or uncertainty related to future values for key variables such as fuel cost, electric energy price, and generation capacity cost. For example, consider average generation capacity costs of about $50/kW-year, ranging from $30/kW-year and $100/kW-year, respectively.

Value ranges can also be assigned to most other variables. Then the model computes cost-effective DG adoptions using the value ranges.

DUVal-U also allows multiple DR options to be evaluated simultaneously, used for either peak or baseload duty cycles. Two location types are evaluated for DR devices - at substations and on feeders.

The following table lists prospective DUVal-U users and how they may benefit by applying it.

User Purpose
Utility strategic planner Estimate DG importance and net savings
Utility distribution planner Identify cost-effective DG applications and locations
DG Manufacturer Determine market potential and timing
ESP/ESCO Investigate new marketing opportunities
Gas LDC Determine increase in natural gas use


For more information or to request a report based
on DUVal contact us.




Related Sites

California Energy Commission (CEC)

National Renwewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Electricity Storage Association


Department of Energy

Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution

Recommended Readings

Risk and DR: Coin of the Realm

EPRI-DOE Handbook of Energy Storage for Transmission and Distribution Applications

DER Benefits Study Comparison, NREL 2003

CEC RFP Attachment 14: Electric Energy Storage Benefits and Market Analysis

Distributed Resources: A How-To Guide for Federal Facility Managers

Economic Analysis of Distributed Energy Impacts, DOE 2003

Congressional Testimony on DU

Texas Distributed Generation Interconnection Manual

Utility Owned Distributed Generation Market Potential

Analysis of the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Market Penetration of Distributed Generation

Bulk Energy Storage for Cooperatives

Innovative Business Cases for Energy Storage in a Restructured Electricity Marketplace, Phase II

Innovative Applications of Energy Storage In a Resrtuctured Electricity Marketplace, Phase III