Integrating smart distributed energy resources with distribution management systems


No portion of the electric power grid has been impacted more by grid modernization, the smart grid, than the electric distribution system. Grid modernization is transforming distribution opera­tions from mostly manual paper-driven processes to automated computer-assisted decision-making and control for distribution system optimization. A central part of this transformation is the distribution management system (DMS), which integrates numer­ous remote monitoring and central control facilities with enterprise-level systems to optimize distribution system performance and accomplish various business goals.

The paper describes ongoing research that explores ways in which the DMS can use distributed resources such as solar photovoltaic and battery storage more effectively and help accomplish the 21st-century objectives of electric distribution utilities:

·         There is a need to add methods for distribution to deal with distributed solar generation.

·         Smart inverter functions will need to be mapped with enterprise-level systems.

·         A distributed energy resource management system can enable standard and uniform communication from DMS to distributed energy resources.

·         Open standards are emerging for standard grid-supportive functions for distributed energy resources such as PV and battery storage.

·         The grid-supportive capabilities of DER must complement, not replace, existing distribution controls such as capacitors, regulators and switches.

·         Enterprise integration standards are needed to support DMS and DER harmonization.

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