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Distributed Generation Integration – Understanding the Current Challenges and Opportunities 

Wednesday, April 3  Time: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Ground Floor, The Highlands
Hyatt Regency DTC, Denver, Colorado

Registration:  To register please click here

Tutors:

Dr. Ravel F. Ammerman, Colorado School of Mines, Golden
Mr. Michael Coddington, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
Dr. Pankaj K. “PK” Sen, Colorado School of Mines, Golden

Background Information:  Renewable energy resources are widely distributed geographically and are intermittent in nature, so they cannot be directly controlled and dispatched like the more traditional sources of generation.  Large electrical power networks have been historically designed using centralized power generating stations supplying customer loads over interconnected transmission and distribution networks.  Increasing the penetration level of distributed renewable energy sources requires adjustments to the existing operating procedure and design philosophy of large-scale power systems.

Intended Audience:  This workshop is designed to appeal to a diverse group of participants.  Policy makers, regulators, analysts, managers, and engineers all share a common goal of developing a better understanding of the political, societal, and technical impacts associated with renewable energy integration.  This workshop is primarily intended for professionals working at the distribution level, so the challenges and opportunities for integrating renewable energy resources into electrical distribution systems will be featured.

Workshop Format:  The workshop begins with a high-level overview of energy resources and distributed generation technologies, followed by an in-depth technical discussion of distributed generation interconnection issues.  The intent of the workshop is to encourage audience interaction by soliciting input from all participants, using distributed generation interconnection case studies to facilitate discussions.

Introduction:  A description of the efforts lead by NREL/DOE focused on reducing the barriers to distributed generation system integration.

Energy System Basics:  A review of the current status of energy usage across the globe and in the United States.  This topic will be followed by a quick look at some of the driving forces (e.g., Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)) and future challenges facing the energy delivery sector.

 Tutorial/Workshop Overview

The Electric Power Grid:  A brief overview of the conventional generation technologies (rotating machines), followed by a description of the major differences between transmission and distribution systems.  Historically, distribution systems have been designed as radial systems where the flow of energy is in one direction only.  Distribution systems are starting to evolve into systems resembling transmission networks.  Consequently, it is important that the workshop participants have a basic understanding of bi-directional and looped networks.

Distributed Energy Systems:  This portion of the workshop provides a brief overview of the non-dispatchable solar energy resource.

  • Solar Energy
    • The Resource
    • Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
    • Solar Energy Variability and Uncertainty
    • Power Electronics
      • Inverters

Applicable Standards and Codes:

  • NESC – National Electrical Safety Code (Utility Safety)
  • NEC – National Electrical Code (Home and Business)
  • UL 1741: Standards for Inverters.
  • IEEE 1547 Series Standards: Interconnection of Distributed Resources to Utilities

Integrating Distributed Generation:  An in-depth, electrical engineering based perspective of some of the major technical concerns associated with the interconnection of high penetration distributed generation at the distribution level.

The following list of topics will be highlighted.

  • Voltage/VAR Regulation and Grounding:
  • Protection Design and Coordination:
  • Power Quality (Harmonics, Flicker, and DC Injection):
  • Unintentional Islanding:
    • Case Studies

Concluding Remarks and Workshop Assessment: