DER VET User Guide
User Guide and Technical Documentation for the Distributed Energy Resources Value Estimation Tool (DER-VET™)
DER-VET provides a free, publicly accessible, open-source platform for calculating, understanding, and optimizing the value of distributed energy resources (DER) based on their technical merits and constraints. An extension of EPRI's StorageVET® tool, DER-VET supports site-specific assessments of energy storage and additional DER technologies—including solar, wind, demand response, electric vehicle charging, internal combustion engines, and combined heat and power—in different configurations, such as microgrids or standalone resources. It uses load and other data to determine optimal size, duration, and other characteristics for maximizing benefits based on site conditions. Customers, developers, utilities, and regulators across the industry can apply this tool to inform project-level or broader decisions based on sound technical understanding and unbiased cost-performance data.
DER-VET was developed with funding from the California Energy Commission. EPRI plans to support continuing updates and enhancements.
Introduction to DER-VET
DER-VET is an open-source, optimization-based planning tool to aid in the design of distributed energy resource and microgrid deployments to maximize benefit to individual customers, ratepayers, and to society. DER-VET provides a platform to model the operation and subsequent value of a set of DERs (“DER mix”), potentially configured in a microgrid, collectively providing a set of stacked services. DER-VET uses load and other site-specific data to optionally optimize the size of the DERs concurrently with its dispatch optimization. The technologies modeled in DER-VET include various types of energy storage, intermittent renewable generation, fueled generation, controllable loads/electric vehicles, and hybrid resources like combined heat and power (CHP). These energy resources can be used in any combination to improve grid reliability, improve customer resilience by providing backup to local critical loads, decrease the electricity bill incurred by the site, participate in wholesale energy or ancillary services markets, provide demand response or resource adequacy, or some allowable combination of these. DER-VET could be connected with the grid simulation tools (for example OpenDSS™, DRIVE, etc.) to allow for easy transitions between the models.
It is the next generation of EPRI’s energy storage and distributed energy resources valuation tools. It expands the functionality, accessibility, and transparency of the previous two iterations of EPRI’s storage valuation tools, the Energy Storage Valuation Tool (ESVT), then the Storage Value Estimation Tool (StorageVET 1.0 & 2.0). The analytical core of the tool has been written in the free and increasingly popular Python programming language. As an open-source tool, DER-VET seeks to leverage the culture of community feedback and support of its users and the free-to-use libraries in Python.
DER-VET is most commonly used to address the following questions:
- Could a specific set of DERs recover their costs by providing a specific set of services over their life?
- What is the optimal size for a DER providing economic services (e.g. customer bill reduction, wholesale market participation)?
- What is the minimum DER size required to meet a reliability objective, such as backup power or distribution upgrade deferral?
- What product offering could achieve the most favorable financial results for a specific application?
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