Rated Power Output Can Affect Grid for Good or Bad

By Jens Schoene, Doug Houseman and Sean Morash, EnerNex

Distributed generation (DG), such as distribution-connected photovoltaic (PV) generation, presents a number of challenges to distribution system planning and operations. Dispersed generation sources connected to the distribution system disrupt the traditional paradigm that the substation is the sole source of power and short-circuit capacity. In addition, PV is inherently variable, adding further complexities to distribution system integration. At the same time, due to its recent popularity resulting in large-scale deployment in many distribution systems, PV offers opportunities for utilities that, if leveraged, can help optimize grid performance.

The potential for PV to negatively or positively affect the grid or do both depends on the rated power output of the installed PV unit. Utilities must understand this in order to guide distribution system planning studies, interconnection requirements and grid modernization efforts.

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