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PG&E and NREL Look to Synthetic Inertia to Balance Highly Renewable Grids

Inertia has been essential to stabilizing power grids since the earliest electrical systems. But with gearless renewable energy resources like solar photovoltaics rolling out at higher and higher levels, there’s uncertainty as to whether the remaining gears can keep pace.

To prepare for this low- or even zero-inertia reality, PG&E is collaborating with NREL to explore how emerging energy sources can bear the burden of their own frequency dynamics by providing so-called "synthetic inertia."

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