Techno-Economic Assessment of Flexibility Options Versus Grid Expansion in Distribution Grids
In this paper five different flexibility options are analysed from a techno-economic perspective as alternatives to traditional grid expansion for a specific distribution grid in Germany. The options are: two reactive power control strategies with photovoltaic inverters (as a function of the power feed-in, or of the voltage at the connection point), one residential and two large scale battery storage applications (primary control reserve with autonomous reactive power control or self consumption maximisation strategy with autonomous reactive power control). For the pilot grid located in Southern Germany a photovoltaic expansion pathway is determined. The main goal of this work is to quantify the grid expansion actions that can be avoided by applying these five flexibility options for the assumed expansion pathway, focusing on large scale battery storages. It is shown that the five flexibility options increase the hosting capacity for PV systems, compared to a scenario without, by up to 45%. Furthermore, the results of the economic assessment indicate that the analysed flexibility options might be a viable alternative to traditional grid expansion as all of them show a cost reduction potential for the pilot region. These results could encourage DSOs to consider the integration of additional PV and battery storage systems not as a problem which triggers grid expansion, but as part of the solution reducing future grid expansion costs.