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Smarter Grid Solutions Works with NREL To Enhance Grid-Hosting Capacity

Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) is deploying and demonstrating an Active Network Management (ANM) system that autonomously manages, coordinates, and controls distributed energy resources in real time to maintain the distribution grid within operating limits.

This integrated, flexible, plug-and-play grid management solution can enhance the grid's capacity to host renewable energy resources. The ANM system demonstrated at the ESIF showed that dynamic grid-hosting capacity can enable much higher penetrations of solar and wind energy on the distribution grid, achieving 50% penetration or more.

SGS first demonstrated that its system can monitor a home's smart meter data and control the power flow from the home's photovoltaic system to the home itself, to an electric vehicle, and to and from the home's energy storage system. SGS then demonstrated its ability to wield the same level of power flow and voltage control across a campus with a high penetration of solar power by creating a virtual smart campus in the ESIF that was interconnected to an actual distribution network. The project then demonstrated the coordination and real-time management of an entire distribution grid, subsuming the smart home and smart campus scenarios into the larger model.

The project was directed by an Industry Project Advisory Board that includes members from Pecan Street Inc., NRG Energy, SolarCity, New York State Smart Grid Consortium, Con Edison, National Grid, Iberdrola USA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and SIMARD SG.

“The project was extremely successful as we were able to demonstrate advanced ANM functionality under a variety of representative power system scenarios, while engaging with industry leaders from distribution utilities, national labs, government and the distributed energy resource community. In just 18 months, we achieved a level of industry vetting, input, and promotion that might otherwise have taken us multiple years.” - Bob Currie, Smarter Grid Solutions chief technology officer