Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member

Yahia Baghzouz

Second Committee Member

Sahjendra Singh

Third Committee Member

Grzegorz Chmaj

Fourth Committee Member

Evangelos Yfantis

Number of Pages



The traditional power grid was designed with a centralized resource distribution in mind, with a relatively small number of large power generation facilities supplying the vast majority of load. With recent efforts to further diversify the power grid as well as an increased interest in renewable energy sources, there has been an unprecedented amount of new DistributedEnergy Resources (DERs) added to the grid within the last decade. This often heavily influences the local demand where these resources are installed, often causing power to flow in ways not anticipated by the original design of the grid. This thesis reviews the potential effects of DERs on the Bulk Electric System (BES) with respect to reliability limits established by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). There are numerous impacts to the system as a whole that have been observed, such as voltage deviations and unexpected MW and MVAR flow patterns. In addition to being a reliability concern, this can introduce additional operational costs on equipment such as regulating transformers, as well as capacitor and reactor banks. Alternatively, these DERs may be able to provide a significant amount of reactive and regulating capacity, reducing operational costs of regulating equipment if correctly managed. The study of these effects will utilize OpenDSS, a software package developed by EPRI for studying distribution networks. Additionally, MATLAB and the GridPV toolbox are utilized for analysis of the simulation data. The model under investigation is a series of modified IEEE 33-bus systems, adjusted to include varying amounts of distributed resources and connected to a transmission line model with an approximated generation source and load at each end. This method will allow exploration of how adjustments in DER permeation and configuration can affect the transmission system and adjacent distribution networks. A moderate amount of study has been performed on how DERs may impact the distribution systems supporting them, but considerably less work has been put towards investigating the effects on the larger transmission systems. DERs have also previously been aggregated into larger generation models for use on transmission system studies, but this approach risks becoming inaccurate as DER system complexity grows and the approximations become less valid. This work will be increasingly important as distributed resources begin to make up a larger portion of total resources connected to the network.

Controlled Subject

Power resources;Smart power grids;Electric industries


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy

File Format


File Size

2500 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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