Lumidyne Consulting LLC has released a new modeling Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that is designed to help electric distribution utilities, cities and other organizations integrate distributed energy resources (DERs) into their planning processes.

The modeling software, named SPIDER (Spatial Penetration and Integration of Distributed Energy Resources), employs a method called System Dynamics, a modeling technique invented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

SPIDER is currently being applied in San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) service territory to facilitate distribution system planning and in the City of Fresno, Calif., to estimate electric vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure requirements.

The SPIDER model is built in Analytica, a software platform developed by Lumina Decision Systems.

According to Lumidyne Consulting, SPIDER can offer the following functions:

  • Forecast spatial adoption and grid impacts of solar, EVs and battery storage;
  • Help grid planners minimize distribution system costs while ensuring system reliability;
  • Help city planners estimate EV charging station infrastructure requirements;
  • Rapidly update forecasts with new data through automated calibration;
  • Analyze different policy, technology or electric rate scenarios; and
  • Account for interactions among and uncertainty across DERs.
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