An examination of the costs and critical characteristics of electric utility distribution system capacity enhancement projects

Patrick J. Balducci, Lawrence A. Schienbein, Tony B. Nguyen, Daryl R. Brown, Eihab M. Fathelrahman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper classifies and analyzes the capital and total costs for 172 electricity distribution system capacity enhancement projects undertaken during 1995-2002 or planned in the 2003-2011 time period by three electric power utilities in the Western United States. Projects were sorted into eight categories: capacitors, load transfer, new feeder, new line, new substation, new transformer, reconductoring, and substation capacity increase. Capital cost and total cost frequency distributions were constructed along with descriptive statistics for each project type. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analysis was performed to determine how various project variables (e.g., project location and primary customer served by the project) impact the unit costs. Distribution system capital costs averaged $51/kVA of additional capacity and varied significantly by project type. New substations and new transformers were the most costly, $112/kVA and $87/kVA respectively, while reconductoring and substation capacity increase were found to be the least expensive ($21/kVA). Using the full costs of delivering electricity over the 30-year life of a project increased the mean project cost to $100/kVA. The OLS analysis revealed that the primary determinant of total project cost is project type. Other variables, such as the geographic location of the project and primary customer served, did not yield statistically significant results.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Power Engineering Society Transmission and Distribution Conference, PES TD 2005/2006
Pages78-86
Number of pages9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE Power Engineering Society Transmission and Distribution Conference, PES TD 2005/2006 - Dallas, TX, United States
Duration: May 21 2006May 24 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Power Engineering Society Transmission and Distribution Conference

Other

OtherIEEE Power Engineering Society Transmission and Distribution Conference, PES TD 2005/2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDallas, TX
Period5/21/065/24/06

Keywords

  • Cost deferment
  • Demand-side management
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Distribution system capacity enhancement
  • Distribution system upgrade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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