Palo Alto, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 12, 2010 - In the past two years, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and collaborating electric utilities have made significant progress in developing a foundation of tools and references while performing research to support the advancement of integration of distributed energy resources (DER) in large scale demonstrations.

In a two year update on the project EPRI says that extracting knowledge from not only the individual projects, but also across multiple projects where similar research is being performed, is underway. The collaborative members are identifying the most important smart grid research needs and EPRI will coordinate research across multiple projects to extend more value for all members.

EPRI’s Smart Grid Demonstration Initiative is a multi-year international collaborative initiative demonstrating the integration of DERs in large scale demonstration projects. The project comprises four tasks:

  • Task 1: Development of analytic methods and tools
  • Task 2: Integration technologies and systems development
  • Task 3: Host site demonstration selection and research
  • Task 4: Technology and knowledge transfer.

An early part of the project included a heavy emphasis on Tasks 1 and 2 to provide a foundation of resources to be leveraged not only by the host site projects, but also as long term resources for smart grid projects being deployed now or in the future.

The demonstration part of the project (Task 3) employs the analytical and technical framework in Task 1 coordinated with the new development activities in Task 2. The experience gained from a wide variety of technologies and systems supplies data to models and methods to address barriers and lessons learned, and are combined in Task 4 to provide overall industry results in the form of newsletters, webcasts, reports and face-to-face meetings.

Since mid 2008, the large scale host site projects have been identified as:

  • American Electric Power (AEP) – Virtual power plant simulator
  • Consolidated Edison – Interoperability of demand response resources
  • Duke Energy smart grid demonstration project
  • Electricité de France (EDF) – PREMIO: Distributed energy resources aggregation and management
  • ESB Networks smart grid demonstration project
  • Exelon smart grid demonstration project
  • FirstEnergy – Integrated distributed energy resources (IDER) management
  • KCP&L – The Green Impact Zone
  • PNM Resources – High-penetration PV through grid automation and demand response
  • Southern California Edison (SCE) – Irvine smart grid demonstration (ISGD)
  • Southern Company smart grid demonstration project.

These utility host site demonstrations will provide the core foundation of the initiative moving forward beyond 2010. The demonstrations are supported by EPRI in design, implementation, and application of key integration technologies and alignment of project objectives to resolve the information and technology gaps.

The EPRI IntelliGridSM architecture is being applied to develop use cases and specify highest priority requirements for communication and control of distributed resources. For each demonstration project implemented, a combination of performance, security, benefits, and/or interoperability assessments are conducted based on data collected through the deployments.

The key to this project is to use the demonstrations to increase knowledge and define the overall industry needs for integration into the overall system, and to build a consensus on the approaches that work best for integration and industry standards based on these approaches.