Non-Wires Alternatives for Utilities

Utilities and regulators are increasingly looking at non-wire alternatives. We bring the experience to transform opportunities into positive outcomes—fast.

Non-wires alternatives (NWAs) – addressed by reliance on distributed energy resources (DERs) including distributed solar, energy storage, combined heat and power, energy efficiency, and demand-side management – are of growing interest to both regulators and utilities. For good reason. Utilities can lower costly investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure while simultaneously advancing clean energy goals and policy initiatives.

Success will require engaging stakeholders while navigating a host of considerations, including market participation, ownership, optimal siting, consistent cost methodology and timeframe between options, and a positive benefit-cost ratio. Developing the business case alone can take substantial time and resources. That’s where we come in. 

Our multidisciplinary team is ready with valuable NWA expertise and experience that helps you move from opportunity to operations to positive outcomes—fast.

Results You Can Expect

  • Resolve grid violation and peak load challenges
  • Facilitate clean energy deployment at scale
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Manage demand peaks
  • Increase resiliency and flexibility
  • Maximize potential cost savings
  • Deliver the benefits above – faster and more efficiently

What We Offer

Find and target your best opportunities

NWA solutions must consider both market and policy developments. We find it useful to wrap NWA opportunities with customer programs by finding mutual incentives – for example, the ability to avoid power procurement costs. 

We evaluate NWA opportunities based on your market and operations and then develop a vision for new technologies, processes and operational changes necessary. 

Design an effective – and achievable – program 

Our multidisciplinary team of utility, technology, and organizational change management specialists has experience designing distributed energy and similar solutions for many different utilities and markets. We’ve seen what works and where utilities need to focus – perspectives that we use to make sure you are designing for success.  

Change requires support from many utility functions, so it is important to have the right stakeholders at the table from the beginning. We use proven collaboration techniques that engage stakeholders in defining the problem and solution for effective outcomes across all functions – not just implementing it.

Conduct a rigorous business cost analysis

Sound business cost analysis is a prerequisite for any NWA program. We put this at the core of our approach – making sure you have and demonstrate a clear methodology for calculating costs, benefits, and rate design. Key elements of our analysis include:

  • Modeling the impact that targeted time-of-use rates would have on the utility’s system.
  • Identifying locations with grid violations.
  • Determining whether a utility can economically and reliably use NWAs to meet specific needs at a lower cost to both the organization and society.
  • Define and monetize a stack of benefits to provide a positive benefit-cost ratio.

Procure the necessary NWA services

Employing a combination of utility operations and strategic sourcing expertise, we will guide you through all the key steps in procuring essential NWA services – from defining requirements for supporting critical needs to contracting with providers to negotiating an appropriate ownership structure. 

Implement efficiently to deliver the expected results

Our team members have walked in your shoes. They understand what it takes to ready your utility for new systems and align resources and utility infrastructure for success. We can stand up a program management office (PMO) to guide the multiple projects involved, manage risks, and measure progress. 

Finally, we know that success doesn’t end with implementation – so we make sure to equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to operate and enhance your program over time.

Want to learn more?