Utilities face an enormous technical problem in integrating distributed vitality assets like rooftop photo voltaic, behind-the-meter batteries and electrical automobile chargers into their energy grids — together with setting the widespread requirements for tips on how to get there. One of many largest obstacles to early DER-grid integration pilot initiatives has been the shortage of well-defined requirements for tips on how to handle the working traits and capabilities of vitality storage methods, sensible inverters and different units that aren’t a part of the standard utility toolbox.
That’s why many of those pilot initiatives underway in California, Hawaii, Arizona and different solar-rich states are being matched with efforts to fine-tune and finalize the important thing requirements concerned, in order that machine makers can begin constructing and testing their tools to help them. California’s Rule 21, which required all new photo voltaic installations to help automated sensible inverter performance beginning final yr, and would require help of utility communications beginning in August 2019, is the first driver for firms out there immediately.
However the identical set of requirements — particularly, IEEE 1547 for inverter-to-grid interconnection and interoperability, IEEE 2030.5 for DER-to-utility communications, and DNP3 for utility SCADA networks in america — are additionally more likely to function the foundations for future utility efforts throughout the nation. At the very least that’s the view of the utility-funded Electrical Energy Analysis Institute, which has taken the lead on a lot of this requirements growth work within the U.S.
These embody two California Power Fee-funded initiatives which have yielded some helpful instruments for the business this yr: free open-source communications software program to help the IEEE 1547-to-2030.5 interoperability to be required of all photo voltaic inverters in California beginning this summer season, and an “utility notice” that can now be necessary for utilities utilizing DNP3-based SCADA networks to adjust to IEEE 1547.
Each of those instruments at the moment are in use by utilities and firms in California, stated Ben Ealey, info and communications know-how senior initiatives supervisor at EPRI, in an interview final week. However “by making this implementation functionality accessible, you can even meet the 1547 necessities that would be the interconnection requirements for a lot of utilities,” he famous, most definitely beginning with the states with mandates for extra distributed vitality assets, and the communications and integration wants that can include them.