Skip to main content

Solar Distributed Grid Integration Projects

Photo of a man working on a solar photovoltaic array outdoors.

NREL's solar distributed grid integration research finds solutions to enable greater penetration of solar electricity on the power grid.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

Energy System Basics Video Series

Learn the essential facts on energy systems in this six-part video series sponsored by the DOE SunShot Initiative and hosted by Dr. Ravel Ammerman.

NREL provides grid integration support, system-level testing, and systems analysis for DOE's solar distributed grid integration projects supported by the SunShot Initiative. These projects address technical issues and develop solutions for high penetration grid integration of solar technologies into the electric power system to meet the following goals:

  • Reduce cost: reduce interconnection costs by developing streamlined procedures including advanced integration models for utility interconnection of photovoltaics (PV)
  • Reduce market barriers: work with utilities and system integrators to reduce market barriers by providing research on impacts of integration of high penetration of PV systems and developing solutions.

Grid Integration Support

NREL provides grid integration support to DOE by leading and participating in groups that provide valuable information on high penetration PV integration. Examples include:

  • Support high penetration workshops and seminars
  • Support International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Program (IEA PVPS) Task 11 — PV hybrid and mini-grids
  • Support IEA PVPS Task 14 — high penetration of PV into electric power grids.

System-Level Testing

NREL works with utilities and system integrators to collect data on high-penetration PV scenarios. Data from these systems will help identify potential issues with large penetrations of PV on distribution feeders and quantify the effects of these systems on actual operating electrical distribution systems. Examples include:

  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Anatolia Project
  • Southern California Edison
  • Hawaii Smart Grid projects.

Systems Analysis

NREL is developing analysis, modeling, and simulation tools, and is conducting technical analysis on high-penetration scenarios for PV systems to understand their impact on the electric power system.

Learn more about DOE's solar energy grid integration systems projects and the SunShot Initiative.