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Final report RSE 17001245

Project RETE-DIS: Evolution and development of distribution network. Synthesis Report of 2016

This report summarizes the main themes and results achieved in 2016 from Project A.4 ("Evolution and Development of Distribution Networks").

This report summarizes the main themes and results achieved in 2016 from Project A.4 ("Evolution and Development of Distribution Networks").

In recent years, there has been a growing diffusion of Distributed Generation (DG), mainly from nonprogrammable renewable energy sources (RES), coupled with the growth of some technologies able to replace other carriers (e.g. electric vehicles, heat pumps) . This requires an evolution of the role of the distribution network, which becomes 'facilitator' for new market mechanisms while continuing to ensure system resilience, continuity and quality of supply. The hypothesis of enable ancillary services market participation from generation from non-programmable renewable sources and DG, and also for loads and accumulation systems, is widely considered as a good measure. However, the role of the various actors and mutual interactions is still to be defined, in particular the ways in which the distribution network operator (DSO) can reconcile the supply of global services by distributed generation (GD) with local needs concerning quality of supply.

In addition, in the future the significant increase in penetration of RES, often through small-scale generators connected to distribution networks, might increase the difficulties in operating the electrical system. As an alternative to installation, permanent or temporary, of batteries waiting for a possible reinforcement of the distribution network, we wanted to investigate the possibilities offered by the innovative use of small hydroelectric pumping plants.

Finally, taking into account the inevitable evolution of distribution networks towards "Smart Grid" solutions, it is important to provide support tools to assess the impact of such projects. All of the above has led to the extension of the scope covered by the 2015 Annual Implementation Plan with the addition of two further themes that were previously covered marginally by other System Research projects: the assessment of costs and the benefits of Small hydroelectric pumping and the provision of support tools for impact analysis of Smart Grid implementations.

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