EPRI, Partners Receive Funding to Research DER Grid Integration

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The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Schneider Electric, General Electric and Smarter Grid Solutions, have received a $2.2 million award to develop a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) to mitigate potential issues caused by integrating distributed energy resources (DER) with the electric grid.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded the funding through its Smart Grid Innovation program, as part of New York’s overall strategy to achieve Gov. Cuomo’s goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040. The project includes a pilot program deployed with Central Hudson Gas & Electric to develop and demonstrate a scalable system that enables a large quantity of DER to be integrated into transmission and distribution systems.

“EPRI is proud to spearhead this effort to develop a control framework for utilities to manage challenges brought on by integrating high amounts of DER,” says Daniel Brooks, vice president of integrated grid and energy systems at EPRI. “EPRI is implementing this critical pilot program – and we are developing the requirements for technologies and protocols for DERMS to communicate with DER successfully and securely.”

Research seeks to address potential challenges to integrating more DER into the electric grid, overload to distribution and transmission grid components, and over-voltages. The project will also demonstrate how DERMS can be integrated with existing utility back-office systems. The results will help utilities integrate higher capacities of renewable energy resources while ensuring reliable, safe and affordable power to customers.

The three companies – Schneider Electric, General Electric and Smarter Grid Solutions – offer insights into operating experiences and best practices with DERMS, distribution management systems and energy management systems. These diverse experiences will allow for the project’s combined results to provide a broad range of lessons for DER and grid management across the entire power industry while providing specific results for Central Hudson Gas & Electric.

New York’s aggressive decarbonization goals and statewide scale-up of renewable energy resources – such as wind and solar – require increasing the existing electric grid’s capabilities while reducing distribution costs to the consumer and reducing the need for system upgrades.

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