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Prospects of a Meshed Electrical Distribution System Featuring Large-Scale Variable Renewable Power

Cruz, M.R.M. ; Fitiwi, D. ; Santos, S. ; Mariano, S.J.P.S. ; Catalão, J.P.S.

Energies Vol. 11, Nº 12, pp. 3399 - *, December, 2018.

ISSN (print): 1996-1073
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,61 (in 2018)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.3390/en11123399

Electrical distribution system operators (DSOs) are facing an increasing number of
challenges, largely as a result of the growing integration of distributed energy resources (DERs),
such as photovoltaic (PV) and wind power. Amid global climate change and other energy-related
concerns, the transformation of electrical distribution systems (EDSs) will most likely go ahead by
modernizing distribution grids so that more DERs can be accommodated. Therefore, new operational
strategies that aim to increase the flexibility of EDSs must be thought of and developed. This action is
indispensable so that EDSs can seamlessly accommodate large amounts of intermittent renewable
power. One plausible strategy that is worth considering is operating distribution systems in a
meshed topology. The aim of this work is, therefore, related to the prospects of gradually adopting
such a strategy. The analysis includes the additional level of flexibility that can be provided by
operating distribution grids in a meshed manner, and the utilization level of variable renewable
power. The distribution operational problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear programming
approach in a stochastic framework. Numerical results reveal the multi-faceted benefits of operating
distribution grids in a meshed manner. Such an operation scheme adds considerable flexibility to
the system and leads to a more efficient utilization of variable renewable energy source (RES)-based
distributed generation.