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NEMA VT P1

2018 Edition, 2018

Complete Document

The Value of Volt-VAR Technologies



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Executive Summary

It’s been estimated that every year in the U.S., about five percent of the electricity that is transmitted and distributed is lost.1 This is the equivalent of powering all of California for one year. Reducing electricity losses, even by a small amount, could result in substantial energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions Electricity losses and demands on the distribution grid can be reduced through a number of proven technology methods.

Traditional volt/VAR (volt amps reactive) management technologies have been used by the power industry for more than 30 years to reduce line losses and increase grid efficiency. In addition, voltage and VAR optimization (VVO) technologies use real-time information and online system modeling to provide optimized and coordinated control. As the number of intermittent renewable sources (e.g., solar and wind) increases, however, so does the complexity of the controls. VVO and other power electronics–based technologies can mitigate rapid and large voltage fluctuations that result from high penetration of distributed generation.

Benefits for electric utilities to adopt these technologies include effective capacity utilization, photovoltaic generation support, avoidance of VAR penalties, and line loss reduction.

Federal legislation to improve energy efficiency and advance the electric grid must include incentives to encourage the deployment of voltage management technology and should include incentives for the adoption of State Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, electric utility rate incentives, and the establishment of a grid optimization fund to finance necessary upgrades.

This document covers several Volt/VAR topics:

a. Benefits b. Technologies

c. Industry Regulations and Standards

d. Integration of Distributed Generation
ANSI/NEMA MW 1000, 2014