Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering (Holcomb Dept. of)

Committee Member

Johan H.R. Enslin

Committee Member

Ramtin Hadidi

Committee Member

Zheyu Zhang


The electric power grid will be facing new challenges in the coming years. One recent trend has been more efficient electrical devices throughout the world, stagnating load growth. In addition, the historic model of generating electric power using slow, large, centralized power plants is beginning to disappear as distributed generation (DG) becomes cheaper and more accessible, both to power utility companies and customers. The combination of these two changes results in a changing load profile that is difficult for traditional generation sources to follow. Finally, the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) will continue to exacerbate this issue.

On the distribution level, these shifts in load profiles result in accelerated equipment aging and equipment upgrade requirements. In order to reduce equipment costs, this thesis surveys 4 distribution feeders from a local southeast utility, forecasting changes possible in the next five years, and calculates the value proposition of using battery energy storage systems (BESS) to mitigate issues caused by the changing demand load profiles. Siemens PTI’s PSS SINCAL’s functionality to achieve this goal is reviewed.

It was found that some distribution feeders have high capacity equipment that would not require any modifications to withstand significant future changes. For the one feeder that does, a BESS had a lower value proposition than upgrading overloaded distribution equipment when using approximate equipment costs.



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