Clean energy software firm Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) has developed five methods that could double the capacity available for solar panels and other distributed energy resources (DERs) to connect to individual electricity substations.
Using the companyâ€™s ANM Element software product, utility companies can monitor the amount of power generated by solar photovoltaics, wind turbines and other renewable energy devices connected to their substations in real-time and react to spikes in output and network loading.
Monitoring at the edges of the grid in this way allows utilities to take a much more nuanced approach to managing their networks, enabling them to dial down output from renewables only when local output threatens to breach agreed operational limits at or near specific substations, rather than adopting a blunter grid-wide approach.
Major utilities in the U.S. and Canada are using SGSâ€™s ANM Element platform, and it is widely deployed in the U.K.
This flexible interconnection and dynamic hosting capacity approach allows ANM Element to tackle five major challenges when balancing supply and demand at substations:
Using grid edge control software to protect substations from ground fault overvoltage could cost a tenth of the price of expensive physical upgrades, while allowing a 100% increase in DER hosting capacity.
â€śEach of these solutions applies a dynamic, real-time export limit to specific DER, thereby providing a set of potential solutions to utility planners and DER developers by creating additional grid capacity and headroom to ease interconnection problems,â€ť said Pete Maltbaek, general manager North America at SGS. â€śThis, in turn, speeds up clean energy deployments and saves substantial amounts of money for all stakeholders. Field results show multiple MVA additional interconnection capacity requiring only up to 3% DER re-dispatch-curtailment and reduced capital cost for interconnection. We believe that the application of these solutions to specific interconnection challenges, identified by screening analysis, in combination with other smart grid and flexible operation solutions, provides utilities with a much-enhanced toolkit for DER integration.â€ť
News item from Smarter Grid Solutions