New Reactive Power and Voltage Regulation Capability Requirements

Foreshadowing IEEE Std. 1547-2018, this article by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) focuses on voltage regulation and is part of a four-part series on the standard.

This article is part of the NRECA series on the standard.

Article

New Reactive Power and Voltage Regulation Capability Requirements (Walling 2016)
According to this NRECA article, the interconnection of large distributed energy resource (DER) facilities, or high levels small DER penetration, can cause significant voltage issues, both in terms of out-of-limit voltages and voltage variability, for cooperative electric utilities. This article outlines the toolbox of possible solutions to these issues found in IEEE Std. 1547-2018 and is meant for stakeholders seeking a technical overview of voltage, reactive power, and the associated capabilities in the new standard.

Topics Covered

The intent of the NRECA article is to aid cooperative utilities with the adoption of the standard by highlighting:

  • What has changed
  • What the impact is on cooperatives
  • What cooperatives need to know or do about it.

Key Takeaways

Voltage Impacts of Distributed Energy Resources

This article explains how the incremental current flow from DERs has an effect on the voltage levels along a feeder, no matter what the penetration level. Both voltage profile changes and variability of voltage potential are described.

Reactive Power as Mitigation

Contrasting investments in distribution infrastructure (reconductoring), the article outlines how reactive power absorption and production by DERs can regulate voltage. The article explains how "the use of DER reactive power can sometimes be a satisfactory alternative to expensive distribution system upgrades."