The Essex Partnership is providing strategic planning services to a consortium of all Vermont Distribution Utilities (DUs) to evaluate non-transmission alternatives (NTA) to address a projected electric reliability gap. The NTA Study grew as a result of new NERC electric reliability standards. Under certain contingencies the electric transmission system in Northwest and Central Vermont are not expected to meet the new NERC standards under short- and mid-term planning horizons.
Traditionally, transmission related reliability gaps were addressed with transmission solutions. The NTA Study is focused on evaluating non-transmission solutions to address the projected reliability gap while meeting the State’s least (rate payer and societal) cost provisions. To support this effort, Essex developed a suite of analytical decision support tools to assess the technical ability and economic performance of over 21 NTA’s. Alternatives include, but are not limited to; energy efficiency, demand response (and other “smart grid” approaches), ice storage, fly wheels, strategically located distributed generation such as – PV solar, wind, biomass, gas-fired peaking stations, and combined heat and power (CHP).
Additional information on this effort can be found on the Vermont Public Service Boards website under Docket No. 7081.