Grid modernization is a major focus for utilities, as aging and congestion leads to power quality issues and more frequent outages. Looking ahead, the grid will need to become more flexible as loads become more variable and sources become increasingly intermittent. A dynamic voltage and volt-ampere reactive (VAR) control architecture (DVCA) is needed to achieve cost-effective performance expectations.
According to the Navigant Research Report “Dynamic Volt/VAR Control Architectures,” many major utilities have one or more forms of DVCA solution in pilot scale, others are embarking on system-wide implementation in the medium-voltage network, and a few are turning DVCA systems for full production.
The smart grid designed with DVCA would be flexible and active throughout the distribution system, with flexible Volt/VAR control at primary substations and distribution circuits.
While a dynamic and integrated Volt/VAR control (VCC) is not entirely in place anywhere in the world, there are significant development and standardization initiatives. Indeed, Navigant reports, most of the technology needed to realize DVCA exists today.
Navigant forecasts that worldwide revenue from DVCA technologies will grow from $734 million in 2014 to $2.9 billion by 2023.