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DSO Network Connection Optimization

September 2, 2023

Category: Utilities

At Simion Advisory Partners, we partnered with a Distribution System Operator (DSO) to improve and optimize their network connection process. The project’s primary objective was to enhance efficiency in the way distributed energy resources (DERs) – such as residential solar panels, wind turbines, and energy storage systems – connect to the DSO’s grid network. This optimization was crucial to manage increasing volumes of DER connections and minimize potential bottlenecks that could affect the reliability of the grid.

The project started with an in-depth review of the current network connection process. We analyzed each step of the process, from the initial application to the final grid interconnection. Our team gathered data on the time, resources, and costs associated with each step, and identified potential inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement.

Based on these findings, we developed a series of recommendations to streamline and optimize the network connection process. This included automating certain steps to speed up the process, developing clearer guidelines to reduce application errors and rework, and enhancing communication with applicants to improve transparency and predictability.

To optimize the technical aspects of the connection process, we advised on modernizing grid infrastructure to facilitate faster and safer connections of DERs. This involved recommendations on upgrading equipment, adopting advanced grid management systems, and implementing smart grid technologies.

Moreover, we also proposed changes to the DSO’s organizational and operational structures to better handle the increased volumes of connection applications. This involved recommendations on staff training, redefining roles and responsibilities, and improving coordination between different departments involved in the connection process.

As a result of the project, the DSO was able to significantly improve the efficiency of its network connection process. The optimized process was faster, more predictable, and less resource-intensive, which benefited both the DSO and its customers. By minimizing potential bottlenecks, the DSO could accommodate more DER connections without compromising the reliability of the grid.

This project is a testament to Simion Advisory Partners’ expertise in process optimization and our ability to deliver tangible improvements in complex operational environments. We continue to support utilities in their transition to a more sustainable and efficient future, leveraging our deep understanding of the sector and our commitment to excellence in consulting services.