INTERCONNECTION OF DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES
With the accelerating adoption of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and the growing interest in highly resilient microgrid configurations, there is increasing pressure on utilities to effectively, rapidly, and safely integrate these as clean and resilient energy resources into their Area Electric Power Systems. The IEEE 1547.1a™-2015 standard was initially published in 2003 and is increasingly viewed globally as the industry best practice for enabling grid interconnection to DERs. A formal ICAP program has been established by the IEEE Standards Association for governing the interconnection of DERs with the electric grid in accordance with this standard. The purpose of the program is to formalize the certification protocols that are needed to demonstrate conformance with the published IEEE 1547.1™ testing standard.
An IEEE 1547.1™ Conformity Assessment Steering Committee (CASC) was convened in 2015 with leading subject matter experts representing all stakeholders within the power industry. The purpose of this steering committee is to define, demonstrate and implement a common test protocol and certification process in order to broaden industry understanding and acceptance of IEEE 1547.1™. Utilities, regulators, service companies, and equipment manufacturers participating on this invitation-only committee are hoping to leverage these protocols to lower the barriers to adoption of these valuable DER technologies. Two specific areas of focus for this committee work will be the Technical Test Process and the Business Process.
The ICAP Interconnection of Distributed Energy Resources certification program is also being accelerated through the development and staging of Pilot Demonstrations. The program will feature specific geographically-based test facilities that are developed by a team consisting of a host utility, a DER manufacturer, and a test laboratory agency (with optional university participation). The pilots serve an important function to evaluate the effectiveness of IEEE 1547.1™ certification methods, and will allow for test variants that reflect different priorities for DER implementation within a multiplicity of utility distribution systems and regulatory environments.
The IEEE 1547.1™ CASC is designed to maintain a balanced perspective from a proportional mix of stakeholder “types” who represent the interests of their industry segment. Organizations that provide products and services related to the interconnection of distributed energy resources may benefit from participation in this ICAP certification program for technologies that include:
- Photovoltaic (PV) Solar – suppliers of usable solar power by means of photovoltaics
- Energy Storage Systems – companies that provide clean energy solutions for distribution of grid connected stand-alone/islanding operations
- Smart Inverters – industry stakeholders that must meet the challenges of integrating energy storage that works in unison with traditional alternative energy sources
- Energy Management Systems – companies that provide tools used by operators to manage utility grids
To get involved, contact the ICAP team.