Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is one of several US utilities that are road testing an distributed energy integration system produced by grid infrastructure company Gridco Systems.
EmPower solution, which is a hardware and software system for dynamic, distributed and decoupled power control, is being used in several grid-side applications, including reliable integration of solar photovoltaics and other distributed energy resources , increased energy efficiency and peak demand reduction as part of CVR/VVO initiatives, and power quality assurance.
SMUD is testing several IPR-50s to help with integration of the growing number of rooftop PV systems in its service territory.
The IPR's continuous voltage regulation under forward and reverse power flows are enabling SMUD to maintain delivered voltage levels under a range of conditions, said TJ Vargas, advanced technology engineer on the project.
"As a municipal-owned utility, maintaining quality voltage levels is what our customers demand.
"SMUD finds significant value in more visibility and control of power flows at the edge of the grid from our increasing amount of distributed and variable renewable generation sources."
Another municipal utility Greater Sudbury Hydro said it is testing the Gridco emPower solution to more effectively integrate PV into their distribution grid.
Brian McMillan, vice-president Distribution Electrical Systems at Greater Sudbury Hydro, said: "We needed to ensure the reliable delivery of power within CSA limits, especially to customers with voltage-sensitive equipment, and the Gridco Systems IPR-50 helped us achieve this goal.
"We are also using the IPR to maintain near unity power factor and cancel voltage and current harmonics, which have been getting worse over time due to the large amounts of customer-connected non-linear loads and electronics-based power supplies."
Gridco Systems will be exhibiting at this year's DistribuTECH event in February 2015.