Electricity integration at NREL enables renewable energy technologies to be fully integrated into the planning and operations of the grid—from ultra-high-voltage transmission systems to medium- and low-voltage distribution grids.
The U.S. electric power system is undergoing significant changes in how electricity is produced and delivered to customers. Reduced costs and new requirements are increasing the amount of variable renewable energy that is being integrated into the power system. Smart Grid technologies that add communications and control to the grid are also changing the way the electric power system operates.
Distributed grid integration R&D at NREL focuses on solar photovoltaic implementation, distributed wind, and vehicle-to-grid technologies that interconnect at the distribution level. It includes distributed energy testing and certification, interconnection standards and codes, interconnection and control technologies, energy management and grid support applications, and distributed energy regulatory and institutional issues.
Transmission grid integration R&D at NREL focuses on wind and large-scale solar power systems interconnected at transmission voltages and provides data, analysis, and techniques to accelerate industry adoption of variable renewable energy. Transmission efforts also include utility operations modeling and transmission planning to optimize access to renewable energy resources.