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Advanced Inverter and Interconnection Summit

Event Description and Agenda:

As penetration levels of wind, solar and storage energy resources escalate, more attention is being devoted to the critical role that advanced inverters can play in stabilizing the variable and intermittent effects of these resources on the distribution system and grid. According to one recent report, "advanced inverter[s have] the capacity to supply or absorb reactive power, to control and modulate frequency and voltage, and to provide more robust safety and reliability functionalities in voltage and frequency ride-through… As a flexible source and sink of both active and reactive power, [they also] provide an opportunity for the extensive control that enables safety and reliability in DER applications."

Alas, along with this great promise comes formidable implementation challenges and barriers. Many of the functions that advanced inverters can support are currently constrained by standards and protection measures adopted for previous generation technologies, and reflect a much more limited variable energy resource landscape. However, the rapid advance of solar, the improving economies of energy storage, and the greater awareness among power industry professionals of the limited and expensive tools available to bring such grid stability argue for advanced inverters to play an increasingly prominent role in resolving some of these challenges.

This summit is aimed squarely at providing utilities, project developers and grid operators with practical paths as to how these smart or advanced inverters can be incorporated with the distribution system, in both radial and secondary networks. It will convene renewable energy industry, grid, and utility experts to:

  • Provide a central forum for considering the ways in which advanced inverter functionalities can optimize the value of the solar resource to enhance grid efficiency and cost effectiveness
  • Identify how the migration of these technology improvements to the grid are accelerating
  • Advance their interoperability and ease of system integration, while preserving necessary reliability and safety measures

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

7:30 - 8:00 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 10:00 a.m. :: Role(s) of Advanced Inverters in Accommodating Increasing Renewable Energy Penetration and Distributed Generation (DG) Scenarios
  • Types of advanced inverters and their functions
    • Survey of what are typically referenced as advanced inverter functions
    • If and how should be standardized across different manufacturers and applications?
    • Should minimum performance criteria be established?
  • DG impacts to utilities
  • Traditional role of "first generation" inverters (prior to high penetration levels)
  • Current role and performance of inverters where high penetration conditions are present
    • North America (especially Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Calif)
    • Germany/Europe
  • Emerging (prospective) role of inverters
    • Should the inverter application scale — i.e., residential, small commercial, utility — determine the permissible functions?
    • Industry adoption timing
  • Relative to other interconnection elements and strategies
  • Relationship to storage

Moderator

Tom Tansy, Chairman, SunSpec Alliance

Panelists

John Berdner, Director - Worldwide Standards, Enphase Energy

Richard Bravo, Senior Engineer - Advanced Technology Group, Southern California Edison (SCE)

Dr. Sudipta Chakraborty, Senior Engineer and Section Manager - Power Electronics & Controls Section, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Jamie Ormond, Grid Planning & Reliability - Energy Division, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

Steve Steffel, Mgr - Distributed Energy Resources Planning and Analytics, PEPCO Holdings Inc (PHI)

10:00 - 10:20 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:20 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. :: Device Standards & Codes, Performance Testing, Quality Assurance and Safety
  • Industry standards
    • IEEE 1547
    • ANSI/UL 1741
    • NEC / CEC
    • CA Rule 21 (SIWG)
    • HI Rule 14H
    • SGIP (CA) / SGIP (FERC)
    • IEC 61850
    • IEEE 2030.5 (SEP2)
  • Product development
    • Impact on product design and implementation
    • Certification process
    • Added cost
  • Software robustness/reliability
  • Independent verification
  • Standards for facilitating specification and evaluation of suppliers' offerings

Moderator

Michael Coddington, Senior Electrical Engineer and Principal Investigator - Distributed Energy Systems Integration Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Panelists

Tom Basso, Senior Electrical Engineer and Principal Investigator - Distributed Energy Systems Integration Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Frances Cleveland, Chair of the Smart Inverter Working Group (SIWG) and President/Principal Consultant, Xanthus Consulting International

Babak Enayati, Lead Research Development and Demonstration Engineer - Utility of the Future, National Grid

Michael Mills-Price, Inverter Qualification Development, DNV GL - Renewables

Tim Zgonena, Principal Engineer - Distributed Energy Resources Equipment and Systems, Underwriter Laboratories

12:15 - 1:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:30 - 3:15 p.m. :: Communications and Coordination
  • Data exchange, transfer media, protocols
    • AMI compatibility and coordination
    • SCADA/DA network compatibility and coordination
    • Wireless telemetry system
  • Information exchange between entities - balancing authority, utility/grid operators, developers/installers, manufacturers, end customers, others
  • Types of information exchanged (kW, kWh, kVAR, kVA, V, I, etc.) and locational usage (situational awareness/control for system-, substation-, feeder-, secondary-level benefit)
  • Integration with utility systems (SCADA, DMS, other?)
  • Can secure communications be accomplished through lower cost means, such as…
    • Wireless, using DNP3 protocol
    • AMI network
    • IP-based
    • Fiber
    • Radio communications
    • Satellite
    • Long-range signaling and control (LRSC)
  • Cybersecurity considerations and measures
    • What additional security mechanisms and standards are required for advanced inverters to tie into more secure utility operations?
    • Will the aggregation of multiple points bring NERC-CIP to bear?
    • Access by and between external, third parties

Moderator

John Berdner, Director - Worldwide Standards, Enphase Energy

Panelists

Tom Bialek, Chief Engineer - Smart Grid Team, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Frances Cleveland, Chair of the Smart Inverter Working Group (SIWG) and President/Principal Consultant, Xanthus Consulting International

Frank Koza, Executive Director - Infrastructure Planning, PJM Interconnection

Clyde Loutan, Senior Advisor - Renewable Energy Integration, California ISO (CAISO)

Anil Pochiraju, Principal Engineer, SunSpec Alliance

3:15 - 3:30 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. :: Ownership, Control and Privacy
  • Contractual authority to change settings
  • Evaluating, establishing and governing the issues of authority vs. ability
  • Distributed energy resource management
  • Utility-consumer interface and messaging
  • Equipment vs. Data
    • What are the technical and economic pros and cons of utility ownership?
    • Who (should) own(s) the info?
    • Who is/should be responsible for monitoring and control?

Moderator

Michael Coddington, Senior Electrical Engineer and Principal Investigator - Distributed Energy Systems Integration Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Panelists

Babak Enayati, Lead Research Development and Demonstration Engineer - Utility of the Future, National Grid

Mark Baldassari, Director - Codes & Standards, Enphase Energy

Jamie Ormond, Grid Planning & Reliability - Energy Division, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. :: Networking Reception

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

7:30 - 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 10:00 a.m. :: Locational Value Available through Advanced Inverters
  • What is the cumulative impact on the distribution system of multiple device connections?
  • What are the cumulative benefits of aggregated distributed resources to offset centralized generation paradigm?
  • Assessment of advanced inverter utility with and without storage, as related to…
    • Dispatchability o Market value of real-time energy
  • Voltage regulation and reactive power
    • On-grid resiliency and self-healing
    • Leveraging advanced inverter capabilities
    • Smart grid communications and controls
    • Advanced operating paradigms to improve resiliency
  • Advanced anti-islanding, intentional islanding and microgrids
  • Market structure to support prosumer and transactive energy aspects

Richard Bravo, Senior Engineer - Advanced Technology Group, Southern California Edison (SCE)

Frank Koza, Executive Director - Infrastructure Planning, PJM Interconnection

Clyde Loutan, Senior Advisor - Renewable Energy Integration, California ISO (CAISO)

Mike Ropp / President and Principal Engineer, Northern Plains Power Technologies (NPPT)

Jim Simonelli, CTO, Gridco Systems

10:00 - 10:20 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:20 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. :: Impacts of Advanced Inverters on VVC, System Protection, Network Systems and Load Shedding
  • Making sure that incremental distributed resources don't exceed voltage limits on distribution circuits
  • Impact on Volt/VAR control, conservation voltage reduction (CVR) and utility-side DR
  • Impact of ride-through on island detection and coordination issues with system load shedding
  • How utilities will require inverter settings to deploy successfully with distribution grid
  • Sub-station upgrades to accommodate high penetration of DER
  • Power curtailment application to avoid back-feed through network protectors
  • Approaches and settings for autonomous control
    • How to set the correct Volt/VAR curve for a specific feeder and location
  • Application of power line carrier (PLC) technology in resolving these issues
  • Comparing dynamic Volt/VAR and other dynamic control settings to a fixed PF
    • Benefits and drawbacks of different approaches
    • Potential configurations for central or central/distributed control
    • Roles of voltage regulations, caps and smart inverters in maintaining proper voltage in a voltage regulation zone so that smart inverters can see beyond local conditions to "know" the voltages across the zone and what setting is optimal for the zone

Michael Coddington, Senior Electrical Engineer and Principal Investigator - Distributed Energy Systems Integration Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Babak Enayati, Lead Research Development and Demonstration Engineer - Utility of the Future, National Grid

Sig Gonzalez, PV Power Electronics Test Engineer, Sandia National Laboratories

James MacPherson, Interconnection Planning Engineer, SunEdison

Steve Steffel, Mgr - Distributed Energy Resources Planning and Analytics, PEPCO Holdings Inc (PHI)

12:15 - 1:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:30 - 3:15 p.m. :: What Functional Alternatives to Advanced Inverters are Available to Distribution Planners?
  • Energy Storage
  • Grid-side power electronics
  • Grid-side energy efficiency and demand response
  • Customer demand side management programs
  • Curtailment
  • Locational and temporal considerations, constraints and requirements
  • Relationship of advanced inverter functionality to storage and grid-side power electronics

John Berdner, Director - Worldwide Standards, Enphase Energy

Tom Bialek, Chief Engineer - Smart Grid Team, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Babak Enayati, Lead Research Development and Demonstration Engineer - Utility of the Future, National Grid

Jim Simonelli, CTO, Gridco Systems

Charles Vartanian, Territorial Manager - Power Systems Group, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products (MEPPI)

3:15 - 3:30 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:30 - 5:00 p.m. :: What Role(s) Do Utilities Play in Smart Inverter Grid Implementation?
  • Business model for remote control of inverters
  • Interplay with net energy metering rates and policies
  • Rates for reactive power generation by DER
  • What is grid modernization and who pays for it?
  • Accurate modeling of performance and impacts
  • Utilities future needs

Tom Bialek, Chief Engineer - Smart Grid Team, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Richard Bravo, Senior Engineer - Advanced Technology Group, Southern California Edison (SCE)

Babak Enayati, Lead Research Development and Demonstration Engineer - Utility of the Future, National Grid

Jamie Ormond, Grid Planning & Reliability - Energy Division, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

Jeff Lo, Vice President, Gridco Systems

Steve Steffel, Mgr - Distributed Energy Resources Planning and Analytics, PEPCO Holdings Inc (PHI)

5:00 p.m.: Conference adjourns

 

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