PROJECT PROFILE: PPL Electric Utilities (ENERGISE)

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Title: Keystone Solar Future Project
Funding Opportunity: ENERGISE
SunShot Subprogram: Systems Integration
Location: Allentown, PA
Amount Awarded: $3,146,232
Awardee Cost Share: $6,505,446

This project leverages several different grid technologies to develop a distributed system platform that bridges the gap between existing and future technologies by monitoring, controlling, and optimizing a high penetration of solar generation. PPL is also developing a multi-layer device and communications architecture and a 500-customer pilot on at least 10 distribution circuits. The project team plans to perform an extensive one-year demonstration to validate research findings before deploying it system-wide.

Approach

The research team will build upon its technological foundation of distributed automation devices, communication equipment, and distribution management systems to realize the benefits of emerging technologies such as customer-owned distributed energy resources (DERs). The team will install a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS), a suite of applications alongside the core distribution management system that offers enhanced DER-aware algorithms and facilitates next-generation, two-way, three-phase load flow, and distribution system state estimator and optimization applications.

Innovation

The key components of a DERMS application suite run on dynamic load profiles, which accommodate irradiance forecasting. Hosting capacity development will provide an unprecedented one-day interconnection study and response to solar customers. In addition, updated radio frequency mesh network communications and robust data management solutions allow back office systems to control the various operational characteristics of end-point field devices.