January 30, 2022

Distribution System Operator with Transactive (DSO+T) Study Volume 1: Main Report


The Distribution System Operator with Transactive (DSO+T) study investigates the engineering and economic performance of a transactive energy retail market coordinating a high penetration of customer-side flexible energy assets. The study seeks to answer whether such an implementation is cost effective for customers, recovers sufficient revenue for DSOs, and is equally applicable and beneficial to a range of flexible asset types, renewable generation scenarios, and market assumptions. Using a highly interdisciplinary co-simulation and valuation framework, this assessment encompasses the entire electrical delivery system from bulk system generation and transmission, through the distribution system, to the modeling of individual customer buildings and flexible assets (including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning [HVAC] units, water heaters, batteries, and electric vehicles). The study exercises a transactive energy retail market coordination scheme designed to integrate with an existing day-ahead and real-time competitive wholesale electricity market. Software decision-making agents are designed for the retail market operator as well as various price-responsive flexible assets. The engineering and economic performance of the transactive energy scheme is studied for two separate flexible asset deployments: flexible loads (HVAC units and residential water heaters) and behind-the-meter batteries. The results of each transactive case are compared to a business-as-usual case. These cases are subject to two different renewable generation scenarios, a moderate renewable generation scenario, representative of current levels of renewable generation deployment, and a future high renewables scenario, including the increased deployment of rooftop solar photovoltaic and electric vehicles. The transactive coordination scheme is shown to produce effective and stable control and decrease peak loads 9–15%. The resulting annual demand flexibility provides net economic savings of $3.3–5.0B per year for a region the size of Texas. Detailed analysis shows that net benefits were seen for a range of distribution system operator, customer, and flexible asset types. Both participating customer (with transactive flexible assets) and nonparticipating customers (with nonflexible assets) see reductions in annual utility bills and net annual energy expenses in the range of 10–16%.

Published: January 30, 2022


Reeve H.M., S.E. Widergren, R.G. Pratt, B. Bhattarai, S. Hanif, S.R. Bender, and T.D. Hardy, et al. 2022. Distribution System Operator with Transactive (DSO+T) Study Volume 1: Main Report Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.