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Utility Interconnection Challenges for Investors, Builders, and O&M in the Age of High Penetration Distributed Energy Resources (DER)

Abstract

Utility requirements for interconnection of distributed energy resources (DER) in Massachusetts are complex, site specific, vary by utility, and have been constantly evolving in recent years.  DER interconnections must comply with the requirements of the investor owned or municipal utility to which they connect, as well as those of ISO New England. This complexity is due to the high penetration of DER and to the emergence of new technologies such as large-scale energy storage systems (ESS).  The state’s Standards for Interconnection of Distributed Generation interconnection requirements are guided by “Good Utility Practice” which is different for various utilities. Some of these requirements, such as those for protection relays and effective grounding, were once relegated to the domain of traditional utility-scale systems. However, many of these requirements have migrated to smaller system sizes typical of commercial and industrial rooftop PV. This presentation provides an overview of major challenges and solutions for DER interconnection including load rejection over voltage, anti-islanding, effective grounding, IEEE 1547 and UL 1741SA standards, low voltage and low frequency ride through, and redundant protection relaying systems including over/under frequency and voltage, ground fault detection, phase and ground over-current, directional power, loss of phase detection, auto-restoration and Direct Transfer Trip.

Presented By

James Bing
PE/President
NEO Virtus Engineering

Mr. Bing is the founder and president of NEO Virtus Engineering, Inc., an electrical and solar consulting engineering firm specializing in PV system design, and Day Ahead Instrumentation, LLC, a manufacturer of protection relay systems for low voltage (<600Vac) DER interconnections.  He has Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and is a professional electrical engineer with registrations in nine states.  Mr. Bing founded NEO Virtus in 2001, and has worked exclusively in the PV industry since 1996.


Mr. Bing holds six patents in the area of solar power production forecasting.