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Project aims to smooth DER integration on the grid

DW Keefer's picture
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DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

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  • Dec 29, 2020

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded $2.2 million for the development of a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) to mitigate potential issues caused by integrating distributed energy resources (DER) with the electric grid.

The funding award was made through NYSERDA’s Smart Grid Innovation program, and is part of the state's strategy to achieve a zero emission electricity sector by 2040.

The project scope includes a pilot program involving Central Hudson Gas & Electric to develop and demonstrate a system that enables a large quantity of DER to be integrated into transmission and distribution systems. The funding award was made to the Electric Power Research Institute, along with Schneider Electric, General Electric and Smarter Grid Solutions.

EPRI is implementing the pilot program, and is developing the requirements for technologies and protocols for DERMS to communicate with DER successfully and securely.

The research seeks to address potential challenges to integrating more DER into the electric grid, such power quality challenges, overload to distribution and transmission grid components, and over-voltages. It will also show how DERMS can work with existing back office systems. The results are intended to help utilities integrate higher capacities of renewable energy resources while ensuring reliable, safe, and affordable power to customers.

EPRI said that New York’s decarbonization goals and statewide scale-up of renewable energy resources require increasing the existing electric grid’s capabilities while reducing distribution costs to the consumer and reducing the need for system upgrades.

Other utilities will be invited to participate in the program through a side project designed to set a repeatable framework for utilities to handle operational challenges of integrating DER using the new DERMS technology.

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