April 27, 2023
Conference Paper

Advancing Energy Equity Considerations in Distribution Systems Planning


Current distribution system planning (DSP) processes do not explicitly account for energy equity considerations, such as who is most affected by power system burdens, where those burdens are concentrated, and what investments can be made to improve baseline conditions. This paper proposes an iterative framework for advancing energy equity as an objective of the DSP process, showing how measurement strategies, or metrics (informed by conceptual foundations of energy justice), can be applied to benchmark equity performance at various stages. This methodology is applied for equity-aware distributed energy resource (DER) hosting capacity analysis and outage analysis to provide critical insights on infrastructure upgrade decisions compared to a business-as-usual (BAU) case. The analysis is performed on a taxonomy feeder representing the West Coast urban/semi-urban system with augmentation of electric vehicles (EVs) and rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) generators. The study considers disadvantaged community (DAC) and non-disadvantaged community (NDAC) load regions to enable equity-aware simulations. The results demonstrate how equity-aware planning could reveal the limitations of the traditional DSP process as DAC regions are found to have lower DER hosting capacity and higher outage vulnerability. Overall, this work provides insights on the need to incorporate energy equity as an integral part of the DSP process.

Published: April 27, 2023


Bharati A., A. Singhal, R. Jinsiwale, K. Kazimierczuk, J. Yoshimura, and B.W. Tarekegne. 2023. Advancing Energy Equity Considerations in Distribution Systems Planning. In IEEE Power & Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT 2023), January 16-19, 2023, Washington, DC, 1-5. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-177447. doi:10.1109/ISGT51731.2023.10066350

Research topics