The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and SolarCity have entered into a cooperative research agreement to address the operational issues associated with large amounts of distributed solar energy on electrical grids.
The work includes collaboration with the Hawaiian Electric Companies to analyze high penetration solar scenarios using advanced modeling and inverter testing at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). The project is funded in part through an Energy Department solar cost-share program. Testing at ESIF will cover the dynamics between inverter-based assets on a grid system, voltage regulation and bi-directional power flows.
NREL has completed load rejection over voltage (LRO) testing and will be completing ground fault overvoltage testing shortly. This testing will allow Hawaiian Electric to approve photovoltaic deployments to customers who have been waiting for interconnection on these high penetration solar circuits.