DOE Distributed Power Program
& IEEE Interconnection Working Group
29 Jan ?1 Feb 2002, Arlington, VA.
-Tue/Wed = DOE Distributed Power Program
-Thur/Fri = IEEE SCC21 Working Group [Covered in a separate UFTO Note]
(P1547 Draft Standard For Interconnection)
Distributed Power Program Review
The DPP website has the proceedings (and pdf downloads) for this meeting, and also for the last review meeting held in Golden CO, Oct’01.
http://www.eren.doe.gov/distributedpower/ (box in upper right corner.)
There is a requirement at DOE for “peer review”, so we’re seeing many of these meetings throughout the year. Last fall there was one for Distributed Energy Resources Program (DER), which includes the Distributed Power Program. (This confusing bit of terminology will be cleared up soon with a name change of the latter to something more accurately reflecting the focus on integration of DR in power systems, not DR itself.) OPT is the new entity formed last year to pull together a number of activities from across EREN.
Here is the line-up of these groups on the org chart:
– EREN — Efficiency and Renewable Energy
– OPT — Office of Power Technologies
– DER — Distributed Energy Resources Program
– DPP — Distributed Power Program [name to change]
^^The DER Review was held in DC, 28-30 Nov 2001
^^Proceedings of the 2001 Hydrogen Program Review are posted at:
Other upcoming review meetings:
^^Hydrogen and Fuel Cells — Denver, 6-10 May
(We may try to combine this with an UFTO visit to NREL)
^^Microturbine and Industrial Gas Turbines — Fairfax VA, 12-14 March
Presentations- Introductions and Overviews
Bob Dixon, head of OPT, opened the conference, commenting that September 11 is the main driving force in Washington. Energy security is a high profile part of it, which translates into redoubled interest in DG.
Bill Williams, IEEE-USA government liaison, outlined the many bills in Congress that deal with interconnection at both the bulk and DG level. He also noted that FERC has opened a rule-making for interconnection under 20 MW. (see below).
Richard Brent, Solar Turbines, pleaded the manufacturers’ concerns about there being different policies at every utility, in every state–sometimes different within the same utility. Many of these practices are still based on utility systems and technology of long ago.
Patricia Hoffman, head of DER, commented that just as with any infrastructure, the energy system needs to advance and evolve. One of the roles of DOE is to help bring consistency.
Joe Galdo, who leads the DPP Program, explained DPP’s mission to remove barriers to DG that arise from technology and regulation. The goal is to reduce installation cost, delay and hassle. The strategy is reflected in the array of projects supported, from the IEEE 1547, to system integration, interconnection and control, to institutional and regulatory barriers. A list of subcontracts awarded to date appears at:
See also “Research Activities” for a good overview:
Presentations – Technical Interconnection Standards and Testing
— First up, Dick DeBlasio gave an update on IEEE 1547. See separate UFTO Note on the Working Group meeting.
— Murray Davis of Detroit Edison reported on a study of penetration limits for DG on a distribution feeder. This ranks very high on the list of concerns about widespread deployment of DG. (Davis started with a quick aside that there would be no limit if grids were isolated–he’s submitted a paper to IEEE about this.) They did detailed modeling of two actual feeders using ASPEN and the Distribution WorkStation, and then modeled the impact of various amounts of DG placed at various locations. The striking conclusion, at least for these two particular feeders and for the two variables considered, is that DG penetration (or stiffness ratio, i.e. the amount of the DG compared to the size of the feeder) had no predictive value for when problems (e.g. over/under voltage) would arise. The line length, circuit particulars, and DG device sizes were far more significant. A feeder could accommodate as much as 10 times more total DG if it comes as many small units instead of 1 big one.
— NRECA has an aggressive program to support its members to do fuel cell demonstrations, with training, handbooks, databases, and a users group. Coops view DG as “a solution, not as a problem”. Together coops represent the largest “single” utility in the country, with 34 million customers in 46 states. The handbook will be available on the DOE website in the near future, and many more resources are available only to members of NRECA.
Contact Ed Torrero, 703-907-5518, email@example.com
— DUIT — Distributed Utility Integration Test – This project is to come up with a plan, including a facility, to do testing of the interaction of DG with the electric system. A key element is the selection of a site or sites for the facility. To that end, a number of sites around the country at utilities and universities were evaluated as candidates. In addition, the Nevada Test Site received particular attention, in view of the extensive inventory of pre-existing buildings and equipment. (The NTS study came up with a conceptual design of a large “pole field” to be used to simulate actual distribution feeders. Rows and rows of utility poles could be patched together to provide everything from a single 30 mile feeder to countless different configurations.) (The DER Test Facility at NREL, which evaluates performance of DG interconnection systems, became operational Dec’01)
Contact Joe Iannucci, Distributed Utility Associates, firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-447-0604.
— Certification Lab Pilot — EPRI-PEAC’s project is to define a path to “certified grid-compatible DER”. They’re writing an accreditation plan and an interconnection handbook. The effort includes actual testing of interconnection standards. For details, see the pdf download^^^, and:
Contact: Tom Key, 865-218-8082, email@example.com
— UL Standard for DG – Underwriters Lab is developing a standard for testing DG equipment, combining appropriate safety requirements with interconnection requirements from IEEE 1547, to produce a DG ANSI Standard that can be used to evaluate utility interconnected DG products for both electrical safety and utility interconnection to address the needs of Electrical AHJs and Utility Interconnection Engineers. This document will be UL 1741, The Standard for Inverters, Converters and Controllers for Use In Independent Power. Contact Tim Zgonena, UL, 847-272-8800 ext. 43051, firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentations – Codes and Regulations
— Regulatory Policy Options for DG — The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) is a non profit that educates and helps state regulators with electric utility regulation. With DOE funding they’re developing a series of issue papers and prototype standards documents for states to use as templates or starting points for DG interconnection, emissions, etc. One interesting observation: RAP suggests that restructuring can actually works against DG, when wholesale markets (ISOs) don’t offer payment for demand reduction, and distribution-only companies become more susceptible to revenue loss. The website has a wealth of material. Of particular interest, policy papers on DG and Electric System reliability, cost methodologies, customer value, and “Accomodating DG in Wholesale Markets”. Particularly note the Draft of a “Model DG Emissions Rule” which is getting a lot of comment. DOE is looking for more input from industry.
Contact: Cheryl Harrington, 207-582-1135, email@example.com
— DG and FERC – Dan Adamson has done a detailed report on FERC’s role in DG, including policy directions and numerous cases that have come up over the last 10 years or more. Expect increasing complexity and litigation. Adamson believes that FERC has the authority to assert jurisdiction over interconnection of DG no matter how small, if it involves wholesale transactions, but not retail or self-generation. Last October, FERC announced an ANOPR on generation interconnection. On 11 January, consensus drafting groups submitted a lengthy filing, with big disagreements between transmission owners and small generators. A new strawman proposal was due Feb 1. Expect a NOPR for comment soon; FERC hopes to issue a final rule later this year. Even if FERC does get jurisdiction, they don’t have the staff expertise or resources to regulate at the distribution level, and will likely look to the new RTOs do handle the details. States will still have a big role in any case. And, many bills are before Congress; how they’d interact with FERC’s efforts needs to be watched closely. (There is a case before the Supreme Court that may decide much of this issue.
A detailed report will be made available soon on the DOE/DPP website. See more information at:
Contact: Dan Adamson, 202-508-6600, firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, go to the source: http://www.ferc.fed.us/Electric/gen_inter.htm
[Sign up for FERC’s “intranet” to see more details. Of note–most utilities’ participants seem to be in transmission or regulatory affairs… is your DG effort in the loop?]
— Local Permitting – This presentation gives a sobering picture of the situation at the local level. There are over 44,000 independent building inspection jursidictions. It can take 10 years or more to get a new technology mentioned in codes, and even then it is up to states which vintage of a code it wants to use. (For example, Nevada still uses the 1978 Electrical Code!?) Most Fire and Building inspectors have little or no experience or understanding of hydrogen, methanol, fuel cells, etc. so developers can have a tough time. DOE is sponsoring an Education and Outreach effort, doing workshops around the country for local inspectors and state officials. Contact Ann Marie Borbely-Bartis, 202-586-5196, email@example.com
******** Late Breaking News ******
NARUC passed a resolution this week (13 Feb) to support development of a Model DG Rule — See below for particulars. — I can also send the actual text of the resolution on request.
Presentations – System Integration and Control
A series of ongoing projects address implementation and hardware, including demonstrations of whole building systems, enterprise-wide generation management, and aggregation of DG. Others are developing new hardware to increase capabilities, reliablity and cost-effectiveness of interconnection systems. [As this note is getting a bit too long–please see proceedings for the individual presentations, or contact me to discuss.]
Presentations – Industrial DG
This series of projects involve actual installations or market studies of individual industry sectors. Others addressed market potential in NY, CA and Chicago.
– Increasing the Use of DG in the Semiconductor Industry
Barry Cummings, Salt River Project
– Highly Varying Industrial Load
Dr. Robert Kramer, NiSource
– DG Integration with Telecommunications Facility
Doug Peck, Syska & Hennessy
– CHP Integration with Fluid Heating Processes in the Chemical and Refining Sectors
– CHP Installation at 29 Palms Marine Air Ground Combat
Henry Mak, So Cal Gas
– DG Improvements in Industrial Applications
Rich Biljetina, Industrial Center
– Chicago Industrial Energy Plan
John Kelly, Gas Technology Institute
– New York State Industrial DG
Nag Patibandla, NYSERDA
– Industrial DG Market Transformation Tools
Paul Bautista, Onsite Sycom
Naruc Adopts Resolution Endorsing Development of Model Interconnection Agreements and Procedures
Washington, February 13, 2002
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), this week at the NARUC 2002 Winter Meetings in Washington, D.C., endorsed the development of model interconnection agreement and procedures under the direction of its Committees on Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment and Finance and Technology. Reiterating its support for open access to the nation’s electricity grid, and the importance of distributed energy resources to our energy future, NARUC noted in is resolution (attached) that:
– Coordination among the States could improve the consistency of treatment so important to the efficient integration of distributed energy resources; and
– Increased national consistency would lower entry barriers and enhance business economic efficiency, and,
– The ready availability of NARUC developed model agreements and procedures will aid in balancing those concerns; and the preparation of model interconnection agreement and procedures by NARUC could provide significant support and
– Efficiencies to those States which have yet to address the challenges of distributed energy resources, and the consideration, adaptation or adoption of such models could provide material assistance in achieving the coordination among the states called for by previous resolutions.
The DOE DPP program has previously support state commissions in their efforts to address the new challenges presented by integrating distributed generation into their energy system, and has been supporting this new initiative. The issue was timely at NARUC because of the FERC’s ongoing inquiry into developing a national rule setting forth interconnection procedures and a standard agreement for FERC jurisdictional interconnections, typically at the transmission level. Some controversy may develop where both state commissions and FERC assert jurisdiction of interconnection issues at the distribution level. For additional information contact Gary Nakarado, DP Program NREL, 303-275-3719 or Gary_Nakarado@NREL.Gov