December 20, 2013
The next generation of smart grid technologies are being devised through growing regulations that with forethought can generate functionality and robust supply chain. The role of standards is to establish processes and applications that are measurable and support the platform in which in enforces. The thinking that the “Smart Grid Interoperability and Standards Update” is thought to bring connectivity to this growing infrastructural resource.
Dick DeBlasio, Chair, IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee (SCC) offered, “When the electric power systems (EPS) that so many utilities around the world rely on were initially engineered, the challenge of linking with active, distribution-level generation and storage technologies still loomed years away.” He said, “That is why the 2003 publication of IEEE 1547 “Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems” was so monumental—it established for the market an unprecedented foundation of credible, shared engineering practices on how to do something it wanted to do. IEEE 1547 filled a void.”
The grid is mobilizing new architecture on energy application to manage intermittency and systems to maintain the the growing demand for power. The “Development of IEEE P1547a “Draft Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems—Amendment 1″ is underway to help the market as it confronts new challenges in grid interconnection with the worldwide proliferation of distributed generation and applications such as microgrids.”
The goal of the IEEE is to become the standard practice for smart grid operations. DeBlasio offered, “Utilities, vendors, independent power producers, regulators and other stakeholders are being marshaled to consider the scope and intentions of a full revision of IEEE 1547 to be completed by 2018,” reports Electric Light & Power.
Might the scope of the standard be expanded to address transmission, in addition to distribution? And what emerging, advanced technologies and applications—microgrids, islanding, inverter communications, ride-through frequencies/voltages, higher renewable penetrations, synchrophasors, etc.—should be addressed in more depth in a revised standard?
In the United States, with industry deregulation in the late 1990s, independent power producers sought to level the business and technical barriers to distributed generation. This is where the Department of Energy (DOE) comes into the story. Hoping to relieve the market stagnation and spur manufacturing, implementation and interconnection of distributed generation technologies, the DOE engaged IEEE in developing a national standard for this area. The IEEE 1547 development project was launched. Upon its approval by the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) in 2003, the standard set forth the industry’s first performance, operation, testing, safety and maintenance criteria and requirements for distributed resources with aggregate capacity of 10 megavolt ampere (MVA) or less at the point of common coupling.
Since IEEE 1547’s publication, the standard has been leveraged in federal legislation and rule making, the deliberations of state regulatory bodies and key utility engineering and business practices—not only in the United States but also other markets including Germany, Japan and Korea. Eighty percent of the United States’ public utility commissions (PUCs) have adopted IEEE 1547, and the standard was referenced in the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 as the model for interconnection services. In other markets, while it might not have been formally adopted in whole, IEEE 1547’s material requirements for how distributed generators can be linked or disconnected with the grid have been leveraged in various documents.
New standards will have to address the growing pattern of power solutions, technology and private companies seeking to maintain their systems such as, Google, Yahoo and Amazon. These company’s by their innovation will innovate and query the reliability, security and use of the grid pushing forward the strength of the regulations posed today.