In recent years, the global installed capacity of Distributed Generation (DG), specifically solar Photovoltaics (PV), has grown at unprecedented rates. In the U.S. alone, solar PV has grown 15X over the last five years (GTM, 2014). Initially stimulated by government incentives and attractive feed-in tariffs, solar PV growth is now fueled by low system prices and the rapidly expanding solar leasing market.
The continued adoption of distributed solar PV is putting immense pressure on today’s grid infrastructure, which was not originally designed to reliably handle reverse power flow and weather-induced generation variability. At high PV penetration levels, undesirable voltage swings are now occurring on both the medium voltage primary and low voltage secondary, at speeds faster than existing mechanical equipment can detect and respond to.
The Gridco Systems emPower™ Solution enables utilities to more reliably integrate DG and increase feeder hosting capacity by:
- Ensuring ANSI C84.1 compliance by precisely and continuously regulating load voltage (boost or buck ±10%) during both forward and reverse power flow conditions
- Responding to weather and resulting power output variability on a sub-cycle basis
- Ensuring VVO/CVR voltage target compliance, even in the presence of DG
- Avoiding wear-and-tear and premature failure of existing mechanical equipment (LTCs, line regulators, switched capacitor banks)
- Avoiding costly and labor-intensive reconductoring or transformer upsizing
- Correcting power factor by injecting capacitive (leading) or inductive (lagging) reactive power
- Correcting voltage harmonics towards end customers and current harmonics towards the grid