Transactive Energy Service System
TESS is an electric utility planning and operations platform that supports the design, deployment, and operation of a price-based transactive energy system that helps distribution utilities maintain efficient, resilient and financially sound operations in light of recent changes in the electricity industry. These changes include policy mandates for renewables, distributed energy resource integration and greenhouse gas emission reductions; increasingly variable supply from the bulk electric power system due to increased renewables; customer-driven demand for distributed energy resources; and lower energy sales or sales growth. TESS delivers a whole-business life-cycle approach to transactive energy services by providing an end-to-end framework that a majority of North American utilities can use to plan, finance, design, deploy, and operate a transactive energy system that helps meet these challenges.
The TESS project demonstrates a platform for utilities to address the principal phases of adopting a transactive energy system: (1) program development, (2) resource deployment, and (3) system operations. During the development phase, a utility screens potential transactive energy technologies, obtains needed financing for themselves and their customers, and completes the engineering design activities needed to begin deployment. During the deployment phase, the utility reaches out to potential customers, provisions their systems with needed data, and performs the installation of hardware and software systems needed to bootstrap the transactive energy system. Finally, when operations begin, the utility dispatches resources to manage constraints and deploy additional assets when and where needed, works with wholesale markets or enters into long-term contracts to generate additional revenue from the flexibility of the newly deployed resources, and periodically performs settlements to pay customers their share of the revenue generated.
The first version of TESS will focus on price-based management of distribution capacity constraints using consumer-installed rooftop photovoltaic, batteries, and flexible load resources. Future versions will provide a mechanism for customers and distribution utilities to coordinate flexible loads and distributed energy resources, generate revenue and cost savings from such coordination, identify where installation of such resources would be valuable and provide a mechanisms for financing such installation, and aggregate these functions using price-based management to deliver resources, such as energy storage and ramping response, to the wholesale market. In all versions, TESS will equitably share generated revenue and cost savings between customers and the utility. TESS may also allow utilities and customers to generate revenue from peer-to-peer energy trading.
TESS is installed at Holy Cross Energy in Colorado, an electricity cooperative established in 1939 in the Roaring Fork and Eagle Fork valleys in central Colorado. Today, Holy Cross Energy serves approximately 60,000 members between Glenwood Springs, Vail, Aspen, and Parachute. Holy Cross Energy is currently focusing on realizing its vision of increasing its use of renewable energy to 70% and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.