Load and Generation Hosting Capacities
For ENMAX Power Corporation, planning the electricity system includes anticipating the effect of new connections to the grid. ENMAX Power’s planning teams need to understand the existing constraints and upcoming demands on the system (loads) to ensure continued reliable electricity service to customers. With the rise of distributed energy resources (DER), the planning teams also need to know where customers can potentially generate electricity, while maintaining the quality and reliability of the grid.
Commercial customers need to understand existing system constraints when choosing a location for their projects, especially those with large loads such as data centers. For customers with DER projects, such as adding solar photovoltaic panels to a shopping complex, both ENMAX Power and the customer need to understand how significantly the proposed DER will impact the existing grid infrastructure and its protection schemes.
Until recently, customers could only assess the capabilities of the system by asking ENMAX Power for a study on each potential location. An innovation from ENMAX Power is making it easier to find these answers. In fall 2019, the team launched two interactive online maps, available on enmax.com, which display area load and hosting capacities. Both maps allow customers to quickly shortlist potential locations for their next project.
The load capacity map illustrates the estimated load capacity available within the ENMAX Power distribution service territory. A customer can search for an address to quickly understand the system’s available capacity to accommodate the electrical needs of their project. The map is fed data from forecasting and system assessment tools that the ENMAX Power system and customer planning teams developed in-house.
The second map shows hosting capacity, or the capability for DER projects to be connected to the grid. A customer can search locations to assess the system’s capacity to accommodate their proposed power generation. The data for this map is based on a module ENMAX Power recently added to its planning software.
The maps are also used internally to give ENMAX Power visibility into load and DER adoption impacts on the system, and to gain insight into future system improvement.