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CEIC-11-02

"Distribution Grid Reconfiguration Reduces Power Losses and Helps Integrate
Renewables"
Colleen Horin, Pedro M. S. Carvalho, and Jay Apt

Abstract:
A reconfigurable network can change its topology by opening and closing switches on power lines. We use real wind, solar, load, and cost data and a model of a reconfigurable distribution grid to show that reconfiguration allows a grid operator to reduce operational losses as well as accept more intermittent renewable generation than a static configuration can. Net present value analysis of automated switch technology shows that the return on investment is negative for this test network when considering only loss reduction, but that the investment is attractive under certain conditions when reconfiguration is used to minimize curtailment.

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