Voltage Optimization

Project Description

TVA promotes voltage optimization programs with local power companies (LPC) that operate distribution feeder voltages in the lower half of the ANSI standard voltage range (C84.1), thereby reducing energy consumption annually. Currently, TVA has two program offerings for Voltage Optimization – Conservation Voltage Regulation (CVR) and Dispatchable Voltage Regulation (DVR).

The CVR Program uses conservation voltage regulation technologies to achieve energy savings by optimizing voltage levels along electric system distribution feeders in an “always-on” basis. The program utilizes a feeder voltage feedback loop to bias voltage regulators to maintain the lowest acceptable feeder voltage. Year-round energy savings occur from end-use devices operating more efficiently at designed voltage levels. Distribution feeders that are primarily residential or small commercial loads are the most effective for CVR.

In addition to incentives paid by TVA, the current rate structure offers inherent financial benefits to operating CVR.
The DVR Program began as a smart grid technology demonstration project in which local power companies optimize distribution-level voltage to reduce peak demand. Electric system distribution feeders utilize a voltage feedback loop to bias voltage regulators to maintain the lowest acceptable feeder voltage. DVR is dispatched economically for up to 100 hours annually with energy cost tied to the variable Henry Hub natural gas index.

Project Implementation

TVA issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) and secured contracts with the winning bidders; obligating TVA to pay the participant financial incentives based on their monthly performance and obligating the participant to operate and maintain the CVR equipment for the contract period.

Once systems are installed and operating, TVA and each participant will perform testing to determine the actual CVR impact. TVA will use data from the tests to determine the performance of each system and the appropriate payment factors.

TVA evaluated the responses with consideration given to:

  1. Proposers’ desire to participate in the program.
  2. Proposers with Load Tap Changing (LTC) transformers that control several distribution feeders or local power companies that have voltage regulators controlling distribution feeders.
  3. The duration of time required for proposer to purchase, install and place the CVR equipment in operation.
  4. Proposers that can deliver the largest energy savings up to budget limitations per year.
Project MilestonesDates*
Released RFPDecember 12, 2014
Intent to Bid Form DueDecember 22, 2014
RFP Submission DeadlineMarch 16, 2015
Award ProjectsMay 1, 2015
CVR Project Implementation BeginsFall 2015
CVR Project Completion Date (All equipment installed, testing requirements completed, system fully operational)October 1, 2017
Progress Reports to EPA by TVASemi-annually
Final 60-Day Report to EPA by TVAMarch 22, 2018

* Dates are tentative and subject to change

EPA Agreement Five-Year Budget

$30 million for Voltage Optimization project.