Portfolio of Projects, Products, and Services - Business & Technology Report - Cooperative.com

Business & Technology Report
Fall 2020

Portfolio of Projects,
Products, and Services
NRECA’s Business and Technology Strategies Department provides resources and
insights for America’s Electric Cooperatives to support them as they operate, optimize
and transform their systems and relationships with consumer members. The work is
coordinated through work groups, with collaboration with other NRECA Departments,
participating member systems, network partners, Associate Members and other strategic
partners. The following is a summary of the Business and Technology Strategies
portfolio of projects and activities. Related technical reports, guides, and on-demand
webinars are available to members on www.cooperative.com. Links are available for
certain materials throughout the portfolio. Please note that only NRECA members will
have full access to Cooperative.com.
Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

Table of Contents
1: Distributed Energy Resources Work Group ..................................................................... 4

2: Transmission & Distribution Work Group ....................................................................... 14

3: Generation, Environment, and Carbon Work Group ...................................................... 19

4: Analytics, Resiliency and Reliability Work Group .......................................................... 27

5: Cybersecurity Work Group ............................................................................................... 34

6: Resource Adequacy & Markets Work Group .................................................................. 39

7: Consulting Services Work Group ……………………………………………………...…….. 45

8: Articles and Advisories – 2020 to Date............................................................................ 54
Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

1: Distributed Energy Resources Work Group
    For more information on this Work Group, please contact: Brian Sloboda at

    The DER Work Group delivers tools and products that provide guidance to cooperatives as they
    seek to manage today’s modern utility system. Ensuring grid stability in an era of connected devices
    is critical. Today’s utility can tap into a variety of tools to meet consumer-member expectations and
    increase reliability while minimizing costs. Technologies and techniques such as distributed
    generation, voltage optimization, demand response, energy storage, electric vehicles and energy
    efficiency are valuable resources. Today these resources need to be viewed as part of a single
    portfolio. The DER workgroup seeks partnerships with both the public and private sector to
    introduce new technologies and optimization strategies to cooperatives and the members they serve.
    The DER workgroup will provide the necessary guidance so cooperatives can use the right mix of
    these and other tools to ensure their mission is enabled through safe, reliable environmentally
    sustainable and cost-effective power.

    Projects, Products, and Services


    ➢ The Beneficial Electrification League
       NRECA co-founded the Beneficial Electrification League with Natural Resources Defense
       Council, among others. to help promote the benefits of electrification. This group has gained the
       support of dozens of organizations of diverse background to develop resources that work to
       develop the market for electric products, including agricultural pumps, motors, space heating,
       water heating, school buses, electric vehicles, and more.
       View additional information.

    ➢ State-Level Electrification Meetings
       NRECA has hosted and helped plan a number of meetings that bring together stakeholders to
       discuss beneficial electrification. These meetings include Electrify Minnesota, North Carolina,
       Colorado, Wisconsin. Indiana. and Iowa. These events typically draw over 100 attendees and
       over a dozen expert speakers.

    ➢ Consumer Expectations of Electric Vehicle Owners
        This advisory reviews the major findings related to the experiences and views of today’s electric
        vehicles drivers. Understanding their experiences can guide the development and refinement of
        programs that are or could be offered by the co-op. The findings are qualitative in nature and
        not meant to indicate popular opinion.
        Status: Final

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

    ➢ Consumer Expectations of the Connected Home
       This advisory reviews the major findings related to the emerging smart home market and what
       consumers may desire in a utility program. More and more consumers are incorporating smart
       technologies into their day to day lives. These range from virtual assistants, such as Amazon
       Alexa, to smart thermostats to help them save money and maintain comfort. Utilities are looking
       for ways to engage consumers with these technologies to either improve existing demand
       response programs or improve consumer service offerings.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Co-op Renewables Continue to Grow, with Solar Accelerating
       Cooperative renewable resources have grown steadily since 2004, especially wind. Growth is set
       to accelerate in the next three years, driven in part by large solar projects. This advisory reviews
       data on historic growth and planned additions and drivers, and provides insights into potential
       impacts of COVID-19.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Integrated Distribution Resource Planning (IDRP) for Electric Cooperatives
       The bulk power and distribution electric grids continue to evolve rapidly due the technological
       improvements, incentives, and integrating more distributed energy resources (DER). As the
       paradigm shifts to an integrated grid, there are significant benefits to integrated distribution
       resource planning (IDRP). This advisory explains the IDRP concept and suggests one approach
       to creating an effective IDRP.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Cooperative Utility PV Field Manual
       NRECA’s Cooperative Utility PV Field Manual is a three-volume series designed to support
       electric cooperatives as they explore and pursue community solar and utility-scale solar PV
       deployments. The SUNDA products and lessons learned for evaluation, implementation and
       operation of utility scale solar PV are discussed in detail:
       • Volume I: Business Models and Financing Options
       • Volume II: Planning, Design, Installation/Interconnection, and Commissioning
       • Volume III: Operations, Maintenance, and Monitoring
       Status: Final

    ➢ Energy Storage Value Streams, Use Cases, and procurement framework
       As the cost of utility scale and behind the meter (BTM) storage continues to decline the value
       propositions that could be realized by deploying energy storage are becoming more compelling
       to cooperatives. Many co-ops are interested in evaluating how storage fits into their DER
       strategy and what value streams it can provide. The purpose of the report is to explore the
       potential value of storage, costs and risks, rates and pricing structures and use cases. The report
       will examine several business models and the potential value streams and pricing structures that

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

       benefit market participants at the wholesale (G&T), distribution and member consumer levels.
       The report also provides a procurement framework that co-ops can utilize when developing an
       RFI or RFP.
       Status: In Pipeline

    ➢ Smart Thermostats for Demand Response Programs
       Advancements in thermostat technology have introduced connected and smart thermostats into
       the broader consumer electronics market and led more utilities to consider using these
       technologies for DR programs. Electric cooperatives are using smart thermostats to provide cost-
       management options to individual members to increase their satisfaction and engagement, while
       also giving the cooperative tools to manage the operation of the distribution grid, defer
       distribution investment, avoid purchasing energy during high-cost periods, and reduce wholesale
       demand charges.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Energy Storage Lexicon
       Provides a set of standard terms, specifications, and definitions around energy storage.
       Status: Final


    ➢ New Energy Resource Model Initiative
       The new energy resource model goes well beyond the supplanting of energy producing assets on
       the electric grid. Key ramifications of the new resource mix include the following:
          •    Consumers are enabled to become net energy producers.
          •    Consumers can exert greater control over their patterns of energy usage and directly
               influence their cost, while at the same time impacting utility revenues.
          •    The account relationship between cooperatives and their members is being fundamentally
               altered, moving from one-way, provider-to-consumer to a two-way, synergistic
          •    Wholesale contracts and power purchase arrangements must often be restructured or
               realigned to maintain financial integrity.
       This case study series, we will explore the physical, economic, financial and behavioral changes
       underway and consider their consequences for cooperatives, their power suppliers, member-
       owners and the communities they serve. Real-world lessons from featured cooperatives' direct
       experiences will be shared.
       Status: In Pipeline

    ➢ Electric Vehicle Service Equipment Load Control Case Studies
       As the pace of adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to increase across the country, so
       too does the electricity needed to charge them. The time of day that EV charging occurs can
       make a difference for co-ops from a cost perspective. This report presents how co-ops can

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

       develop programs that ensure the adoption of EVs is beneficial for both the member and the co-
       Status: Final

    ➢ Small Hydropower Opportunities in Rural America
       Currently, small hydropower (systems less than 10MW, or less than 40MW if built in conduit)
       may be an untapped resource in rural America. Beyond traditional deployments, there are
       substantial opportunities to integrate hydropower with other cooperative and community assets.
       This report explores the substantial opportunities for electric cooperatives, irrigation districts,
       municipal water systems, developers, and other rural stakeholders to derive value from small
       hydropower, and how barriers can be overcome with successful collaboration.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Distributed Energy Resources: Trends and Impacts on G&Ts and Their Member Cooperatives
       This paper identifies trends and practices by cooperatives to find consumer-member value
       through DER product offerings. It addresses the complicated and sometimes conflicting views
       of the wholesale/retail relationship of cooperatives and existing challenges to both G&T and
       distribution cooperatives. G&Ts and their members are best suited to evaluate challenges and
       opportunities that DER presents for their consumer-members and their systems. This paper
       summarizes some of the currently available research, materials, questions and activities
       regarding DER programs to help provide insights and assist the G&Ts and their member
       cooperatives in their maximizing value through deployment of DER.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Tools to Help Consumer-Members Manage Energy Expenses During COVID-19
       Electric co-ops pioneered the use of prepaid metering, proactive bill notifications and energy
       assistance programs to help consumer-members budget their energy expenses. Programs like
       these can help consumer-members manage their electricity bills during these extraordinary times.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Battery Energy Storage Technology Overview and Co-op Case Studies
       Battery energy storage can be used for a variety of applications, including frequency regulation,
       demand response, transmission and distribution infrastructure deferral, integration of renewable
       energy, and microgrids. Different battery technologies can enable different applications that can
       provide various benefits to the utility services, Independent System Operator (ISO) services,
       Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) services, and consumer services. This report by
       NRECA, in conjunction with CFC, CoBank, and NRTC, reviews two principal technologies that
       are the leading battery energy storage deployment - lithium-ion and flow batteries - and provides
       co-op case studies on battery energy storage application.
       Status: Final

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

    ➢ Million LED Challenge
       NRECA in partnership with the University of California, Davis and the California Lighting
       Technology Center will develop a list of approved LED products to replace linear fluorescent
       lamps in commercial and industrial applications. An online store will give co-ops ad their
       members access to the approved lamps at discounted bulk pricing.
       Status: In Pipeline

    ➢ Enabling Energy Access for All through Innovative Programs
       In October 2017, the U.S. Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI)
       released an updated list of the nation’s Persistent Poverty Counties (PPCs). PPCs are counties
       that have experienced very high poverty rates over a long-term. Cooperatives provide electricity
       in more than 360 PPCs identified by CDFI (~90%), serving an estimated 4.2 million people in
       these counties as poverty rates range from 20-60%. The initiative will:
             • Inform and educate our NRECA member cooperatives
             • Support community growth, member engagement/satisfaction
             • Advocate for our NRECA member cooperatives
             • Identify and establish partnerships to advance solutions for our members
             • Communicate best practices and lessons learned
       Status: View the Tools and Resources

    ➢ Energy Services Tools and Marketing Assessment
       Market segmentation can be used to select programs and to communicate existing programs to
       members. Using the existing customer information system (CIS) platforms co-ops could increase
       program participation and member satisfaction. This project will demonstrate these capabilities
       and information co-ops in recommended practices.
       Status: In Pipeline

    ➢ Community Solar Playbook
       Developed from experienced cooperatives and solar developers, the playbook provides practical
       step-by-step guidance for planning and executing a community solar program. Split up into five
       modules, each focuses on the actions required from a particular division of a cooperative utility
       in order to establish a community solar program and includes “Planning and Execution
       Checklists”, “Key Templates”, “Information on critical concerns”, and a lists and contact
       information for additional resources. View the Tools and Resources.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Energy Management Best Practices for Cannabis Greenhouses
       Cannabis greenhouse are intense users of electricity and have traditionally show little ability to
       shave usage during peak. This project will look at solutions related to lighting, ventilation and
       general energy usage and how commercial grow houses could adopt new practices to lower their
       energy intensity.
       Status: In Pipeline

    ➢ Energy Efficient Refrigerator Glass Doors for the Commercial Sector

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

       The objective of this study is to develop supporting research and a substantiation document that
       can be used by participating co-ops to launch a program offering to improve the efficiency of
       open refrigerated display cases. The aim is to quantify savings resulting from refrigerated display
       cases with glass doors compared to open refrigerated display cases.
       Status: In Pipeline

    ➢ Winter Smart Thermostat Pilot
       Using Internet connected thermostats for summer load control has been the subject of multiple
       pilots and full scale deployments. According to Nest, the largest manufacturer of smart
       thermostats, only 3 small pilots have been conducted. Winter control pilots have been conducted
       in Florida, North Carolina and Portland, OR. This project will conduct a pilot of roughly 100
       homes in central Indiana. This pilot will determine peak load reduction ability, consumer-
       member reaction and provide recommended practices for co-ops considering winter HVAC load
       Status: In Pipeline


    ➢ Market Potential for Commercial Electric Trucking
       The electrification of commercial vehicles continues to gain momentum as companies all around
       the world focus their attention on the benefits of electric power versus long established internal
       combustion engine (ICE) alternatives. Many segments are already well penetrated including
       forklifts, burden carriers, side-by-sides, and other utility-class vehicles whose use is typically
       confined to a manufacturing or commercial facility.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Preparing to Plug in Your Fleet - 10 Things to Consider
       Powering a fleet with electricity is different than using traditional fuels. The purpose of this
       guide is to identify some of the key areas where electric companies and their customers can work
       together to streamline the fleet electrification process. The guide created by EEI with NRECA
       and APPA is applicable to any company that operates a fleet, but it is particularly focused on
       medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets that likely will have higher power charging needs.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Preparing to Plug in Your Municipal Electric Transit Bus Fleet - 10 Things to Consider
       The electrification of transit buses has been one of the most successful electric vehicle
       opportunities in the commercial sector. NRECA has partnered with the Edison Electric Institute
       (EEI), American Public Power Association (APPA) and the American Public Transportation
       Association (APTA) to create a common document that the entire industry can reference as
       transit bus fleets begin to electrify.
       Status: Final

    ➢ Radio Wave Grain Drying for Beneficial Electrification

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

        Grain drying is a crucial part of the agricultural industry, and for over 50 years, it has primarily
        been accomplished with high heat grain dryers utilizing natural gas or liquid propane. Radio
        wave grain drying may present a beneficial electrification opportunity to help farmers reduce
        grain drying energy costs and improve grain quality.
        Status: Final
     ➢ Market Potential for Commercial Electric Trucking
        The electrification of commercial vehicles continues to gain momentum as companies all around
        the world focus their attention on the benefits of electric power versus long established internal
        combustion engine (ICE) alternatives. Many segments are already well penetrated including
        forklifts, burden carriers, side-by-sides, and other utility-class vehicles whose use is typically
        confined to a manufacturing or commercial facility.
        Reports focus on providing an overview of the state of commercial vehicle electrification for two
        over-the-road (OTR) truck categories that cooperatives are likely to encounter in their service
        Class 3 – 6 medium duty vehicles
        Class 7 – 8 heavy duty vehicles
        Status: Final

     ➢ Beneficial Electrification for C&I Case Studies
        Electrifying industrial and commercial processes is a proven method to help local businesses stay
        competitive. Beneficial electrification strengthens the cooperative presence in the community
        and offers benefits to the electric system. Working with C&I customers is a good place to start.
        To provide examples of various approaches to working with C&I customers on beneficial
        electrification initiatives, NRECA offers a series of case studies. Case studies include:
        •   Forklifts
        •   Rock Crushing Equipment
        •   Cooking Equipment
        •   Irrigation Systems
        •   Space Heating in Schools
        •   Dairy Water Heating
        •   Natural Gas Pipeline Compressor Stations
        •   Link to Beneficial Electrification C&I Case Studies
        Status: Final

     ➢ Utility Connected Home
        In partnership with East River Electric and Dakota State University the project will create a
        home energy management interface the seamlessly connect a home with the electric utility. A
        prototype will be built and placed on the campus as a living lab for vendors and utilities to learn
        and test new products and ideas.

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Beneficial Electrification - Promoting the Benefits of End-Use Electrification
        To build and maintain an advanced knowledge base through focused research in order to
        demonstrate and deliver service excellence and industry leadership in beneficial electrification
        and to coordinate with membership, internal departments at NRECA, and outside stakeholders to
        tell the cooperative story, engage members, demonstrate cross-network collaboration, and
        enhance cooperative communities around issues of beneficial electrification.
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Energy Storage Pilot
        Co-ops’ experiences with battery technology report that batteries are an immensely complex
        technology in utility applications. Therefore, there is a significant benefit for co-ops to test out
        and gain experience with this technology today in order to be prepared to invest in this rapidly
        evolving technology and shape its progress. This project will create a series of Reference Battery
        Pilot Program templates that will provide reference designs for battery systems that include all
        sensory, communications, and controls. They also will cover various testing protocols and
        guidance on interpreting data. NRECA will provide opportunities to take part in low risk, high
        value testing as well as opportunities to share results and experiences with co-ops across the
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Energy Storage Toolkit
        This project provides complementary tools to the Energy Storage Handbook to help cooperatives
        identify and screen energy storage technology applications. The project provides cooperative-
        specific guidance for producing effective Request for Proposals (RFPs) by way of spec sheets
        and an online training course. The Financial Screening for Energy Storage provides a structure
        for calculating the financial benefits of energy storage for 17 different applications.
        Status: Final

     ➢ TechSurveillance and Advisories
        NRECA’s TechSurveillance provides research and reporting on technology and market issues
        pertinent to cooperatives, in line with the Work Group research efforts. NRECA also produces
        frequent Technology and Member Advisories, focused on newsworthy events and issues which
        have business and technology impacts on cooperatives business operations. See last page of this
        Portfolio summary for recent articles and advisories.

     Regional Centers Initiative Projects

     ➢ Voltage Optimization Demonstration
        In partnership with Central Electric Power Cooperative (SC), Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative,
        Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, Black River Electric Cooperative and ERMCO we are
        demonstrating the capabilities of ERMCO’s TIGER (Transformer Integrated GridBridge Energy
        Router) unit at several poultry houses. The demonstration will run until the 3rd quarter of 2018.
        Preliminary results have shown an improvement in power quality and the ability to precisely

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

        control voltage. This has allowed the cooperatives to utilize the voltage optimization function in
        the peak reduction program.
        Status: Final

     ➢ NCEMC - Customer (C&I - Butler Farms) Microgrid
        The overall goals of this project were to understand the impacts and opportunities of integrating
        utility dispatch batteries and consumer owned solar on the distribution grid. Secondary goal
        included supporting the member-consumer’s sustainability goals and providing standby power.
        These projects benefit the G&T, the distribution co-op and the end use consumers by improving
        reliability and saving money through improved grid optimization.
        Status: Final

     ➢ NCEMC - Ocracoke Island Utility Operated Microgrid (Outer Banks, NC)
        The overall goals of this project were to understand the impacts and opportunities of integrating
        utility dispatch batteries and consumer owned solar on the distribution grid. Secondary goals
        include improving reliability and service to the island’s residents during and after storm events.
        This project was the launch pad for the Energy Storage Pilot Program and established the first
        two of five planned energy storage pilot project reference design packages for future
        cooperatives to implement and share experiences.
        Status: Final

     ➢ Planning for Distributed Energy Resources on the Bulk Power System
        The goal of this collaboration is to assist in understanding the impact of Distributed Energy
        Resources (DER) on bulk power systems through accurate modeling and studying tradeoffs
        between improving transmission infrastructure and central generation supply vs distributed
        generation. The project is being performed at Great River Energy, in collaboration with their
        distribution co-ops. Phase 1 using the EPRI DRIVE feeder hosting capacity model, is complete.
        In a succeeding phase, the Open Modeling Framework tool is intended to be used for dynamic
        distribution grid analyses, and more distributed resources such as conservation energy efficiency
        programs, proposed community storage and community solar initiatives, will be incorporated
        into integrated resource planning.
        Status: Ongoing

     ➢ Beneficial Electrification Dual Fuel Heating Systems
        Mountain Parks Electric Cooperative in Colorado has identified an opportunity to lower
        member’s overall energy bills by deploying mini split heat pumps to be used in shoulder months.
        When outdoor air temperatures dip below the capabilities of the mini-splits, the home’s propane
        furnace would be used. A field demonstration is planned for the winter of 2018-2019 where the
        co-ops and BTS will new control systems that would allow the two units to work together.
        Status: Final

     ➢ Design Thinking
        Design thinking is a three-year project exploring how co-ops can enhance their position as the
        trusted energy provider. The concept focuses on consumer attitudes and emotions and how utility
        programs can improve the quality of like. In the first year NRECA worked with Poudre Valley
        Electric Association (CO) focusing on residential programs. In 2018 NRECA United Power

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        (CO) exploring the needs of small commercial members and how to better serve them. New
        projects including low and moderate in come consumers and e3V options are underway.
        Status: Final

     ➢ Microgrid Deployment at Anza Electric Co-op, California
        The overall goals of this project are to understand the applications of energy storage and
        microgrid for grid resilience and transmission investment deferral. This project is also part of the
        Energy Storage Pilot program and is being done by AEPCO (the G&T for Anza) in collaboration
        with Anza and with technical assistance from Sandia national labs. This is a first of a kind
        project with specific field deployment assistance from a DOE-National Laboratory, and will
        serve as a test bed for future such partnerships. This project also serves to illustrate the
        collaborative and mutually beneficial G&T – Distribution cooperative partnership. Deliverables
        from this project for the larger cooperative community will include reference design and value
        assessment packages, lessons learned on design, installation and operation of energy storage and
        the microgrid.
        Status: Ongoing

     ➢ Microgrid Enhancement at Cordova Electric Co-op, Alaska
     The overall goals of this project are to enhance the resilience of the existing microgrid and
     Cordova through energy storage and hardening of other existing grid infrastructure and
     optimizing the resource portfolio including hydroelectric generation. This project is also part of
     the Energy Storage Pilot program and is being performed with funding and technical assistance
     from the Department of Energy and Sandia, Idaho, Pacific Northwest and Lawrence Berkeley
     National Labs. Deliverables from this project for the larger cooperative community will include
     reference design and value assessment packages for energy storage, cybersecurity assessment
     templates, lessons learned on design, installation and operation of energy storage and the
     Status: Ongoing

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2: Transmission & Distribution
     For more information on this Work Group, please contact: Patti Metro at patti.metro@nreca.coop

     Extending the useful life of existing infrastructure, maintaining and enhancing system safety,
     reliability, improving power quality, expanding the utilization of infrastructure and leveraging
     advanced technologies pose increasing challenges for all cooperatives as the distribution system
     optimizers. Through the years, co-ops have shown a talent for cost-effective improvements and
     practical solutions to these current problems. These are the areas of focus for the T&D Work Group,
     which brings together co-op engineers who provide direct support to RUS’ engineering and
     standards efforts for the benefit of all co-ops. This Work Group supports and influences other key
     standards bodies, such as the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) and IEEE. It also produces
     research in collaboration with industry partners, such as the Electric Power Research Institute
     (EPRI), CEATI, DSTAR, PSERC and national laboratories.

     Projects, Products and Services


     ➢ Avian Issues
        NRECA is finalizing an Avian Protection Plan (APP) template that can be used by cooperatives
        to develop an APP that meets the needs of each unique system. Though voluntary, these plans
        are necessary to meet the obligations of several federal regulations/laws associated with the
        protection of many avian species. NRECA and several cooperatives are members of the Avian
        Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC) which provides a collaborative industry voice to
        address avian issues. In spring 2020, NRECA and WEST Inc., an Environmental and Statistical
        consulting group to conducted Web based APP Template Training to introduce the proposed
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Distribution Line Asset Management
        NRECA has membership in the DLAM group (formerly DALCM). This group provides
        collaborative research and technical information for asset management, optimization, cost
        reduction and life extension for existing distribution lines and equipment, while improving safety
        and looking at emerging challenges and opportunities.
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ DSTAR Membership
        DSTAR is a group of nine electric utilities that are committed to researching methods to increase
        reliability and lower cost of service. NRECA is a longtime member of DSTARStatus: In

        o DSTAR eHandbook
            Distribution engineers and technicians frequently use several hard-copy handbooks to find
            vital engineering information or refer to tables to obtain simple calculated values. Some of

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

           the data handbooks still being used today have not been updated in years and may contain
           obsolete data. Finding the appropriate information this way can be time consuming. A
           searchable, interactive electronic handbook that compiles several different handbooks and
           data sources could reduce the amount of time engineers have to spend looking through
           reference materials so they can focus on solving problems, which is the goal of this project.
           Status: Ideation

     ➢ T&D Vegetation Management Program
        NRECA and several members continue to participate in the Vegetation Management Program
        which brings together industry professionals to discuss and develop solutions on common
        industry vegetation issues, create networking opportunities for vegetation managers, make
        improvements in the management of vegetation, and assist in the development of improved
        planning techniques, regulatory filings and sustainable planning. It serves as a forum to identify
        knowledge gaps and to provide future research and study to address these gaps.
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ RUS Specifications and Drawings for Underground Electric Distribution
        NRECA worked with the Underground Subcommittee of the Transmission & Distribution
        Engineering Committee to update the 2000 version RUS Underground Specification Manual. A
        draft of the manual and numbering system was presented at TechAdvantage 2016. Further
        review took place at the IEEE Rural Electric Power Conference in May and the draft was posted
        to Cooperative.com for review and comment by co-op engineers. Final review to ensure
        compatibility with RUS publishing guidelines took place last winter and the Subcommittee
        submitted the completed draft to RUS for their processing and final acceptance spring 2017.
        Status: Final

     ➢ Design Guide for Rural Substations
        The Transmission & Distribution Engineering Substation Subcommittee completed the updates
        to existing RUS Bulletin 1724E-300 - Design Guide for Rural Substations. NRECA transmitted
        the final version of the bulletin to RUS in June 2019. The draft Design Guide for Rural Substations
        is posted for member use until RUS completes the review process for publication.
        Status: Final for TDEC, In Progress – RUS Review and publication

     ➢ Transmission Overhead Design and Extreme Event Mitigation
        NRECA participates in the Transmission Overhead Design and Extreme Event Mitigation
        Interest Group. This group provides collaborative research and technical information on modern
        and efficient line design, construction and maintenance, methods to reduce the impacts of
        extreme weather conditions, and other reliability/resiliency issues associated with transmission
        construction, ownership and operation.
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ National Electrical Safety Code (NESC)
        Subcommittee meetings for the 2022 edition of the NESC took place at IEEE in the fall of 2018. All
        Change Proposals (CPs) were reviewed, discussed and voted on. The Preprint of the CPs and related SC
        votes and comments have been published and the comment period is now closed. Coop engineers are

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        represented on all technical subcommittees to help ensure that members’ concerns are addressed. The
        original schedule called for the SCs to reconvene for final review in the fall of 2020, but the pandemic
        recently resulted in the Main Committee delaying the schedule by one year. ANSIapproved this new
        schedule. The next edition of the NESC is now slated to be published in fall 2022 and will be referred to
        as the 2023 edition.
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Draft of Guide to Joint Use: An Engineering and Operations Perspective
        Broadband up to and including 5G is on the minds of many in rural communities these days.
        Telecommunications companies seek to provide that service either to or through rural areas and
        are increasingly seeking to add cables and antennas to co-op poles. The Overhead Lines
        Subcommittee of the Transmission & Distribution Engineering Committee recognized the
        challenges many co-ops experience in dealing with such requests. They decided, with RUS’
        agreement, to develop a guide that can be used by both co-ops and telcos to help guide them
        through the complexities and existing safety codes and rules related to such operations. The
        result has been approved by RUS’ technical team and is undergoing further review prior to
        publication as an RUS Bulletin, but the SC wanted to make the material available to co-ops so
        they could begin working with it. Once RUS publishes the final document NRECA can withdraw
        the draft.
        Status: Draft Complete, RUS review In Progress


     ➢ Station Equipment Asset Management
        The “Substation of the Future” concept initiated at NRECA and proposed to CEATI is now a
        major focus of this interest group. This objective of the group is to optimize the station
        equipment management to improve performance, reliability and availability of equipment, and to
        reduce O&M costs through collaborative research on station equipment, methods procedures and
        practices. Specific interests include substation modernization, current trends in design and future
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Performance and Diagnostic Center – A Center of Excellence
        NRECA is developing requirements and preparing a roadmap for successful implementation of a
        demonstration Performance and Diagnostics center at the host G&T, Georgia Transmission. The
        Center will focus on data collection and equipment monitoring to enable critical information
        assessment and decision making at cooperatives that will improve reliability and support rapid
        system restoration. The project is a collaborative undertaking among interested participants,
        including members of the CEATI Substation Interest Group.
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Guideline for Optical Ground Wire (OPGW)
        The TDEC Transmission Lines Subcommittee is developing a series of two articles, based on
        CEATI Transmission Overheated Design & Extreme Event Mitigation (TODEM) Interest Group
        Guidelines for Optical Groundwire Technology. The articles will include cooperative examples
        that can be used for the design, installation and maintenance of this type of ground wire.

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

         Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Guideline for Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Survey for Transmission Lines
         The TDEC Transmission Lines Subcommittee is developing Guideline for LiDAR Survey for
         Transmission Lines that can be used by cooperatives for the design, installation and maintenance
         of transmission lines.
         Status: In Pipeline


     ➢ IEEE 1547-2018: Standard for Interconnection of DER
         This effort to completely overhaul the original standard from 2003 began in late 2013. NRECA
         has been an active participant in most of the meetings to represent co-op interests and keep them
         informed of developments. In 2017, ahead of the ballot, NRECA published four
         TechSurveillance articles reviewing proposed changes and possible impacts to cooperative
         systems which E&O personnel needed to be aware of. Several co-ops joined the ballot and our
         collective comments influenced the final standard, which was published in April 2018.
         Compliance with the new standard will be expected within 18 months of publication of the
         related testing standard, IEEE 1547.1 (see below).
         Status: Final

     ➢ IEEE 1547.1-2020: Standard for Testing of Interconnection Systems for DER
         This is separate from, but closely related to, the base standard. It includes all types of test
         procedures for ensuring compliance of interconnection equipment and systems with IEEE 1547.
         This is of interest to manufacturers, designers and utilities. Specific test procedures are included
         whereby a DER system can be tested for conformance to the base standards and certify it as
         such. NRECA published an overview of the standard prior to balloting so co-op personnel could
         have the opportunity to join the ballot pool as an informed member. Final balloting has taken
         place and IEEE 1547.1-2020 was approved in May.
         Status: Final

     ➢ State of the Art Review of Mobile Substations
         This project will investigate and provide details of the characteristics and possible suitable
         applications for the many alternative designs and arrangements for mobile substation equipment
         presently on the market. This information should be gathered from known users and
         manufacturers of this equipment and will serve as a technical reference for utility planners and
         maintenance personnel when arranging for future work, identifying available alternatives and
         also requirements for use and upkeep of these units. The project culminated with a series of three
         TechSurveillance articles.
         Status: Final

     ➢ Grid Scale Energy Storage Implementation and Applications at Substations
         This research involves storage options available for use within utility substations, evaluating the

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

        practical applications and benefits of substation-based energy storage. Consideration is being
        made of the implications and impact of this technology, and of the best practices to incorporate
        and accommodate storage solutions.
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ NFPA 855
        The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently published a standard originally
        thought to be targeted at fire safety for Battery Energy Storage systems (BES), particularly grid-
        scale Li ion batteries. Instead, the final draft covers all types of energy storage systems including
        those used by the telecom industry and the electric power industry, particularly those used for
        protection and controls (P&C) in substations. While there are certain exemptions included,
        utilities must now consider the implications of NFPA 855 when constructing new substations,
        generating stations or switching facilities which may interest local fire inspectors. The NESC is
        considering Change Proposals (CPs) for the next edition as well as a Temporary Interim
        Agreement (TIA) to try and recover some of the jurisdiction sought by NFPA for utility
        Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ TechSurveillance and Advisories
        NRECA’s TechSurveillance provides research and reporting on technology and market issues
        pertinent to cooperatives, in line with the Work Group research efforts. NRECA also produces
        frequent Technology and Member Advisories, focused on newsworthy events and issues which
        have business and technology impacts on cooperatives business operations. See last page of this
        Portfolio summary for recent articles and advisories.

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

3: Generation, Environment, and Carbon Work Group
     For more information on this Work Group, please contact: Dan Walsh at daniel.walsh@nreca.coop

     The GECO2 Work Group provides resources and tools that help prepare co-ops for the future and
     keep existing generation assets viable in the face of market and regulatory impacts. The work group
     is focused on ensuring a cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally compliant power supply for
     electric cooperatives. This is done through the collection of data, information, monitoring of
     technologies, and research that reduce costs and maintain or improve reliability, while minimizing
     environmental impact of existing assets. The data collected and ensuing research are meant to
     support members of the electric co-op community on issues related to all fossil and nuclear
     generation; utility-scale wind energy and large utility-scale storage systems, including pumped
     hydro, batteries, liquid air storage systems and flywheels; environmental compliance; and carbon
     mitigation, capture, sequestration, and utilization.

     Projects, Products and Services


     ➢ Impact of Cycling/Two Shift Damage on the O&M Cost and Reliability of Natural Gas – Fired
       Combined Cycle (NGCC) Power Plants
        This technical review evaluated the impact on economics and reliability of cycling and two shift
        operation of NGCCs, based on experience from Europe as well as the U.S. These impacts are
        caused by increased penetration of renewables or reduced system loads that result in increased
        operation and maintenance costs of millions of dollars a year while increasing forced outage
        rates by 5 percent or more as a function of the number of hot, warm, and cold startups.
        Status: Final

     ➢ Reliability and Performance Issues with Combustion Turbines
        NRECA is identifying issues with the operation of natural gas and or oil-fired simple cycle and
        combined cycle combustion turbines and providing information on ways to address reliability
        and performance problems. This project performs a detailed evaluation of the technical factors
        and issues that impact the performance of combustion turbines. These factors and issues include
        a range of operating conditions, including cyclic operation and rapid starts. It covers specific
        performance issues, their causes, and appropriate resolution.
        Status: Final

     ➢ Technology and Economic Evaluation Methodology for Fast and Flexible Generation
        The installed capacity of renewable energy resources - primarily wind and solar photovoltaics
        (PV) - has been rising steadily in North America over the past 10 years. As wind and solar PV
        account for a large share of the generation mix, their intermittency and non-dispatchable nature
        pose challenges for grid operators and electric utilities. This study addresses energy storage,
        flexible generating units - that can provide fast - start backup generating capability to help
        integrate renewable resources. It also sets out a methodology that can be used for decision -
        making on the value of these units.

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

         Status: Final
     ➢ Maintenance Optimization Using Risk-Based Tools
         In recent years, power plant operation has changed significantly due to increasing competition in
         the market, demand and obligation to meet increasingly stringent statutory requirements and
         environmental regulations. There has been a shift in the operation mode from base to cyclic load,
         and this has led to increased numbers of plant failures. These tools provide strategies to deliver
         the required plant performance inside an operational envelope that limits both short and long-
         term plant damage, a ‘risk-based management’ approach. In this study, various risk-based
         procedures have been critically reviewed, compared, and assessed. and a recommended best-
         practice risk-based management program that can be adopted to manage risk or to improve
         existing maintenance programs.
         Status: Final

     ➢ Best Practice Guidelines for the Operation and Maintenance of Steam Condensers and their
         This manual describes design, materials, and construction of steam condensers followed by
         discussion of the factors affecting plant thermal efficiency, air extraction equipment that removes
         air and in condensable gases from the steam space in the condenser, and considerations
         governing overall condenser design. In addition, the cooling water circuit is also described with
         details of pumps and energy consumption, cooling tower performance, and the influence of
         ambient conditions. The impact of cyclic operation on condenser performance and maintenance
         is discussed along with mitigation factors.
         Status: Final

     ➢ Best Practice Guidelines for Pressure Part Management
         This Report has been produced as Guidelines for best practices that may be adopted for the safe
         and economical operation of pressure components in fossil fired power plants. A variety of
         pressure vessels have been covered ranging from headers and steam drums to boiler and HRSG
         tubes, valves, pumps etc. The report explains the challenges experienced by these components
         related to the operating heat flux and attendant metal temperature and pressures that vary within
         fired and non-fired components. This is then followed by the description of the degradation
         mechanisms and the rate at which damage may affect these pressure parts. Damage mechanisms
         have been discussed in detail with the industrial examples of various components and materials of
         construction and how they are affected. Remedial steps needed to ameliorate such damage have
         been discussed in detail with various examples and how practically such problems can be resolved.
         Status: Final

     ➢ Best Practice Guidelines for Operation and Maintenance of Steam Turbines and Auxiliary Equipment
         This report examines the operation and maintenance requirements that ensure steam turbine
         reliability. It also discusses ways that plant staff can reduce downtime and achieve higher
         production capability and extend equipment life through cost-effective maintenance.
         Status: Final


Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

     ➢ Integration and Coordination of Energy Storage within Microgrids
         This study – a collaborative effort between utilities, CEATI’s Strategic Options for Integrating
         Emerging Technologies and Distributed Energy Program, and ICF – evaluates how energy
         storage is being used in microgrids and develops best practices for integrating energy storage
         technologies. The insights gained from reviewing literature, interviewing stakeholders,
         developing case studies, and identifying best practices for integrating energy storage within
         microgrids will help end-users, developers and utilities understand how microgrids with energy
         storage are being used and how they may be effectively used in the future.
         Status: Final

     ➢ How Low Can the Cost for Solar PV go?
         This study evaluated current technology developments that continue to drive down the cost of
         Solar PV such as single and dual axis tracking, improved solar cells and lower cost installation
         methods. and then projected the capital cost and levelized cost of electricity for residential,
         commercial, and utility scale solar PV from 2017 through 2030 for San Diego, Atlanta, Calgary,
         and Toronto. The results were integrated into an Excel spreadsheet with default economic data
         by components for solar PV-modules, inverters and interconnection, and financial assumptions.
         Status: Final

     ➢ Generator Maintenance and Condition Assessment Guide
         This final report provides a detailed guide of best practices for maintaining electric generators
         and assessing their condition. Prevention of generator failures can eliminate long outages lasting
         for 6 months to more than 1 year, significantly reducing replacement energy costs and the cost to
         replace the generator.
         Status: Final

     ➢ University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center Multi-Element Sorbent
       Trap (MEST-H) Method for HCl – (UND EERC collaborative R&D)
         The UND EERC MEST-H has been shown to be up to three times less expensive than the EPA
         method 26 for measuring halogens like HCl. This project is partially funded by NRECA along
         with EPRI, the Lignite Energy Council, and others; and will complete the validation of the
         MEST–H method for final approval by the EPA. Testing has been completed.
         Status: Final

     ➢ Guidelines for the Re-Commissioning of Coal-Fired Power Plant
         This document is a very detailed guide, essential for the recommissioning of a coal-fired power
         plant that has been laid up for months at a time. These layups can occur during the spring and fall
         off peak seasons, when wind n and solar PV generation are the highest or when major plant
         failures have rendered the coal-fired power plant inoperable for long periods of time awaiting
         spares or major repairs. This will become more of an issue as efficient coal-fired power plants
         age and availability of critical parts becomes a major issue.
         Status: Final


Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

     ➢ Generation Plant Cost of Operations and Cycling Optimization Model (Coco)

         The objective of this DOE funded research project is to develop a tool that can be used to model
         the cycling impacts and cost of large coal boilers. This cycling or ramping capability is critical to
         integration of variable generation resources, such as solar and wind, on the grid. The tool will
         allow a utility to calculate the cost to operate its boilers at specified reduced capacity over a
         specified duration of time. This “Cost of Cycling” model (Coco) will be of use to utilities in
         planning, operating, or altering coal generators. The model will make it possible to design more
         effective flexibility and efficiency while decreasing the environmental impact of coal
         combustion or operation inefficiencies. Throughout the course of the project we will exercise this
         capability with our utility team member – Great River Energy (GRE) -- and Purdue University.
         Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Maximizing the value of energy storage systems: economic and technical evaluation of use cases
       and benefit stacking
         The cost for energy storage systems (ESS) is quickly dropping, see the Storage Market
         Assessment work, which is part of the DER portfolio. The CEATI SOIG Report “How Low can
         the Cost of Energy Storage Go?” shows that this trend is anticipated to continue to 2030 for most
         energy storage technologies, particularly batteries, as demand and production grow. With the
         costs relatively well understood and the technology proven, the question now turns to
         quantifying the economic value (i.e. revenue generated and/or costs avoided) of the services that
         energy storage can provide, as well as how to determine the optimum amount (minutes to hours)
         of storage based on use case application. This information completes the equation for calculation
         of benefit-to-cost ratio, payback period, net present value, and internal rate of return, which is
         essential to strategic investment planning.
         Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ How Low Can the Cost of Energy Storage Go?
         This project determines how low the cost of specified energy storage technologies can go
         (including battery energy storage, pumped hydroelectric storage, Liquid Air Energy Storage.),
         taking into account decreasing costs of DC storage, inverters, interconnection, permitting,
         installation, engineering, life cycle, and disposal.
         Status: Final

     ➢ Technologies to Improve Plant Performance: An Industry-Wide Review
         This project examines benchmarking methodologies and results across the power generation
         Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Optimization of Coal-Fired Power Plant Modifications to Improve Cyclic Performance
         The main objective of this project is to optimize coal plant modifications to improve cyclic
         performance by evaluating and ranking these modifications by cost and possible percentage
         reduction in forced outage rate associated with cyclic operation.
         Status: In Pipeline

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

     ➢ Optimization of Natural Gas Fired Combined Cycle Gas Turbines CCGT Power Plant
       Modifications to Improve Cyclic Performance
         The main objective of this project is to optimize natural gas fired CCGT plant modifications to
         improve cyclic performance by evaluating and ranking these modifications by cost and possible
         percentage reduction in forced outage rate associated with cyclic operation.
         Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Monitoring CO2 Capture and Utilization Technologies
         NRECA participates in research with partners in the Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS)
         and Carbon Capture Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) areas. Our close network of
         affiliations and partners includes the Department of Energy, the National Carbon Capture Center
         (NCCC), and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), along with several universities and
         testing centers across the International Test Center Network.
         Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ Integrated Test Center – Carbon (ITC-C)
         NRECA is supporting the ITC-C advanced technology test center, which located at Basin’s coal-
         fired power plant at Dry Fork Station in Gillette, WY. The Center aims to demonstrate integrated
         CO2 capture and utilization technologies, with combined funding from the state of Wyoming,
         Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., and NRECA, including hosting an
         international carbon utilization research initiative through the XPRIZE foundation. The ITC is a
         public-private partnership designed to foster the next generation of energy technology. The ITC
         will provide space for researchers to test carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS)
         technologies using actual coal-based flue gas from the Dry Fork Station near Gillette. The Test
         Center will host several technology providers including a global carbon utilization research
         initiative through the XPRIZE foundation. The Wyoming ITC-C was dedicated in May 2018
         with a ribbon cutting ceremony and is now open to XPRIZE Testers. Additionally, Kawasaki, J-
         Coal and Wyoming entered a memorandum of understanding in which Kawasaki pledges $9
         million to the test center and will mobilize to the site in 2020. Recently MTR agreed to test its
         membrane technology in Wyoming in 2019. Ongoing funding discussions are being held with oil
         and gas companies such as Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, Statoil, and BP regarding support for the test
         Status: In Pipeline

     ➢ CEATI/NRECA Technology Database
        CEATI in partnership with NRECA is continuing to develop a technology database for solar PV,
        energy storage, wind, advanced nuclear, carbon capture, carbon utilization, off gas monitoring of
        Li ion battery overheating, and electric vehicles, etc. The database has collected information on
        the companies (more than 50 battery, thermal energy storage, pumped hydro storage), company
        contacts and websites, and description of the technology. This is a work in progress that is on the
        CEATI SOIG portal,
        Status: In Pipeline

     Joining the NCCC

Business and Technology Strategies: Portfolio

     The NCCC operates as a cost-shared collaborative R&D venture. The U.S. DOE provides
     significant funding to support the testing and scale-up of technologies with commercial potential, but
     requires significant private industry cost-sharing in R&D costs. DOE also provides access to a large
     fossil energy R&D program. Many laboratory-stage technologies under development by DOE and
     by private developers can be brought to NCCC for scale-up and integrated testing.

     NRECA has joined the NCCC as a private sector participant. The NCCC, led by Southern
     Company, provides: cost-share to match DOE’s investment, NCCC management oversight and
     process technology expertise to gain access to performance information on emerging
     technologies. Insights gained can help power companies, coal companies and other energy-related
     companies to assess the future of carbon capture technologies for fossil fuel combustion processes.

     Partners have a unique opportunity to participate firsthand in R&D test plan development and in
     understanding technology performance through observing NCCC’s operation. These insights will
     assist partners in consideration of technology scale-up and assessment of commercial potential of
     advanced fossil fueled power generation and CO2 capture technology. Partners will receive timely
     information detailing progress made in developing the technology, thereby enabling them to evaluate
     the suitability of the technology for commercial deployment in their generating systems or in
     projects wherein they may have commercial interests. We view this relationship as a pipeline for the
     Wyoming ITC. Technology providers who are successful at a small pilot scale in NCCC are invited
     to interact with cooperative G&T members for future larger scale testing opportunities prior to full-
     scale deployment.

        •   Partners receive summaries of technology evaluation and performance results. These results
            can be shared with all Cooperatives across NRECA.
        •   NRECA has access to a wide range of international CCUS R&D collaborations and
            knowledge sharing groups.
        •   Invitation to biannual technology review meetings for updates on latest operations data.
            Additional cooperatives may attend with NRECA.
        •   Detailed performance information and R&D results for technology development for pre-
            combustion or post-combustion CO2 capture. This information may be marked confidential.
        •   Detailed performance information on balance-of-plant systems (e.g. other syngas treatment
            systems, solids feed systems).
        •   Access to NCCC staff, for clarification of any issues of particular interest.
        •   Annual technical reports and economic analysis through case studies and reports.
        •   Assistance from NCCC staff in internal planning activities for analysis of economic and
            engineering aspects of CO2 capture technology.
        •   The opportunity (at own expense) to provide a suitable candidate to work as part of the
            NCCC Project Team.
        •    3-year agreement finalized May 2019.

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