NERC’s report on Distributed Energy Resources (DER) acknowledges that the resource mix of North America’s electric power system is transforming to rely less on central station coal and nuclear and more on variable output distributed generation including wind and solar. At the distribution level, the potential impacts of DER are fairly well understood, but the impact of high penetrations of DER on the reliable operations of the Bulk Power System (BPS) has been studied less.
Due to the interconnected nature of the power grid, the ability to accurately model the power system is essential to the reliable operation of the BPS. System modeling is critical for power grid operations and planning for both normal operations and disturbances. All components of the system must be represented in the models, either directly or in an aggregated way, with sufficient detail to provide meaningful and accurate simulations of actual system performance. A modular approach to represent DER in BPS studies, with some level of data validation, may ensure accurate representation of the resources for the specific BPS study type. While dynamic models for different DER technologies are available, limited existing knowledge and experience of modeling DER in system planning studies, and operating with higher penetration DER levels, will require future collaborative research, knowledge exchange, and learning.
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Understanding NERC’s activities related to emerging DER driven reliability challenges will help your company make decisions about the application of human, financial and capital resources. For more information on how reliability risks presented by DERs impact your business please download our Regulatory Update or contact us today.