SGRC Products and Services

Smart Grid Executive Assessments: Smart Grid Executive Assessments provide low-cost executive-level utility smart grid business case evaluations as a first step in considering various smart grid investments.

Executive Assessments include:

  • Brief telephone interviews with utility staff to develop general information on your utility,
  • SGRC processing of our in-house copies of your utility's energy use filings to estimate load models (we have form 861 data and other government filings),
  • SGRC application of the Smart Grid Investment Model (SGIM) to quantify business case analysis of smart grid investments relevant to your utility including AMI/smart meters, customer engagement, conservation voltage reduction, and demand response
  • Presentation of results at your utility and delivery of a Smart Grid Executive Assessment Report, including detailed charts, tables and recommenations for increasing benefits and reducing costs.

Executive Assessment presentations and reports are designed to provide utility management and executives information on smart grid application costs and benefits, to support planning, prioritization of projects and general assessments of smart grid options. Internal rate of return, net present value, payback, cash flow, cumulative net benefits and other financial measures are provided for smart grid project components including AMI (as appropriate), CVR, demand response and other applications.

The SGRC combines public information on your utility with added utility detail collected in a short telephone interview to develop seminar material customized for each utility. Each Assessment presentation is 2 hours, conducted at your utility, open to executives and staff of your choosing. Assessment reports include presentation material documenting the business case analysis. SGRC executive seminars provide an opportunity to present your entire utility management and executive staff with information on smart grid costs and benefits at your utility.

Executive Assessments are designed to provide initial assessments of smart grid options savings providing prioritization and focus for additional, more detailed analysis. Assessments answer at the outset of smart grid investments such as:

  • Will AMI/smart meters savings be enough to justify considering a full deployment?
  • Do my wholesale rates and substation/feeder loads provide enough financial incentive to consider CVR?
  • Are my wholesale rates and customer end-use loads sufficient to justify investigating demand response programs?
  • Which investment areas provide the greatest reduction in costs?
  • What are my options for low cost-CVR and limited customer engagement programs?
  • Can I reprioritize planned smart grid initiatives to reduce cash flow demands?
  • What are my options for outsourcing the various smart grid support services and how do costs and benefits compare?
  • How can I avoid the 9-12 month day-on/day-off CVR-Volt/VAR data collection to accelerate savings?
  • What is the potential for various customer demand response programs and what kind of participation will I have to achieve to make them cost-effective?

SGRC Turnkey Business Case Analysis: SGRC provides comprehensive, detailed business case analysis for all smart grid-related investments including:

  • AMI/smart meters
  • Conservation voltage reduction
  • DA, Volt/VAR applications
  • Customer engagement (demand response, pricing)
  • Other SG applications

SGRC is independent consulting firm, providing unbiased, objective smart grid utility investment advice consistent with our Texas A&M University roots as a research and service organization develoted to assisting coops and public utilities in addressing smart grid investment challenges.

SGRC business case analysis is unique:

  • SGRC, unlike vendors and system integrators, provides only financial analysis, avoiding conflicts of interest
  • SGRC business case analysis is comprehensive, including all important smart grid applications
  • The SGRC's Smart Grid Investment Model (SGIM) is applied in each application providing quantitative analysis, investment risk analysis and a resource maintained by the SGRC for potential future analysis updates and applications
  • SGRC applies hourly load modeling to provide more accurate results of CVR, volt/VAR and demand response applications
  • SGIM analysis can evauate substation and feeder level CVR and detailed customer engagement program analysis
  • SGRC's use of the SGIM, research database and experience in 20 business case project provides the most cost effective business case analysis.

SGRC also provides initial executive-level evaluations to assess basic smart grid investment options prior to the comprehensive SGRC turnkey analysis.

"What-if" evaluations: The SGIM quantitative framework supports an unlimited number of technology, program and market scenario analyses ensuring a comprehensive consideration of all smart grid investment options in developing a smart grid strategy. These scenario evaluations are documented in a final project report and a utility in-house presentation.

Unprecedented scalability and continuity: The SGIM is scalable, designed to support utility smart grid investment analysis over a decade and more. Model add-in modules are designed to support extended analysis including substation/feeder level DA and volt/VAR analysis, distributed storage, electric vehicles, distributed energy resources and more.

Continuous maintenance: The Consortium maintains each utility's SGIM indefinitely, ready to support renewed smart grid investment needs that arise from changes in technologies, wholesale power rates and other factors. SGIM scalability and continuous maintenance avoid utility projects that "reinvent the wheel" providing unrivaled business case analysis at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional one-off approaches applied by most consulting firms.

Smart Grid Benchmarking: Regardless of where you are in the smart grid process, SGRC will evaluate and identify options to improve financial returns on current and future investments. We can work with your vendors to ensure maximum benefits and to ensure timely and financially beneficial integration of additional smart grid capabilities

In-house model application: Optionally, the Consortium will also install the Smart Grid Investment model on your computers and train your staff in its use including online coaching and applications support.

Other smart grid investment support: SGRC projects are customized to meet individual utility needs addressing new technologies, industry trends, experience and other smart grid issues.

For More Information Contact:

Jerry Jackson, Ph.D.
Leader and Research Director
Smart Grid Research Consortium