Automated Correction of GIS Data for Loads and Distributed Energy Resources in Secondary Distribution Networks

Karen Montano-Martinez, Shanshan Ma, Vijay Vittal, Cynthia Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently, utilities are making significant efforts to correct their secondary models in geographic information systems (GISs) to capture the distribution system performance due to the increased penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs) such as renewable energy resources, distributed energy storage, and electric vehicles (EVs). However, their databases are often not reliable in terms of GIS coordinates of elements such as loads and DERs resulting in an approximate representation of the secondary distribution network. This paper presents an automated tool for accurate secondary network topology GIS coordinates correction. The proposed automated tool provides a more accurate feeder topology for utilities to estimate and operate distribution systems by assigning the load and DER nodes to their corresponding customer location. To simplify the complexity of the proposed new tool, only two commonly available inputs are being used as input data: municipal parcel GIS delimitation data, and utility secondary feeder topology database. A three-stage framework is proposed to develop the automated tool: the first stage reads and processes the raw input data; the second stage works automatically with no human intervention to assign the load and DER nodes to their associated location; the third stage provides the load and DER coordinates and physical address. The proposed procedure is implemented on an actual feeder from an electrical utility with high penetration of DERs.The results show that the proposed method provides a more accurate estimation of the topology of the feeder in terms of coordinates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1628-1636
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


  • Distribution system
  • distribution system modeling
  • geographic information system (GIS)
  • secondary system modeling
  • smart grids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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