This project leverages existing information systems and processes to increase efficient communication exchange between the utility and customer/resource provider during the interconnection process by optimizing control of solar energy production. Through a complete lifecycle approach, the project team will determine the necessary data to be exchanged, the grid and device characteristics, and the operating constraints and protocols to enable effective controls and operations. This structured and automated exchange of characteristics and parameters accelerates the interconnection process, establishes common information requirements, and enables effective operational connection of distributed energy resources to the grid.
The research team will develop modern automation and control capabilities on distribution circuits and substations. In addition, the team will combine centralized processing in an advanced distribution management system and distributed controls within the substation, as well as control logic embedded in an upgraded field area network. These innovations are capable of robust power flow optimization, improving overall resiliency of the system.
This project will automate communication with solar customers, further streamlining the interconnection process for all participants – the utility, the resource provider, the customer, and the local jurisdiction. It will also establish standards-based infrastructure and communication protocols that will be scalable and interoperable, which is critical for new installations and can also help to extract additional value from existing solar installations.