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NREL: Demonstrating Active Network Management Integration

NREL: Demonstrating Active Network Management Integration

Our pioneering end-to-end ANM solutions have a proven record of delivering increased grid hosting capacity, lowering interconnection costs and streamlining deployment of clean distributed energy, while providing utilities with distributed deterministic control for increased reliability and more efficient network asset utilization

Bob Currie , CTO & Co-Founder, Smarter Grid Solutions

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is leading a program known as “Integrated Network Testbed for Energy Grid Research and Technology Experimentation (INTEGRATE)” to address specific grid integration challenges. The objective of NREL’s INTEGRATE program is to enable clean energy technologies to increase the hosting capacity of the grid and to provide grid services in a holistic manner, using an open standards based and interoperable platform. Successful INTEGRATE projects will increase the viability, penetration, and deployment of renewable energy technologies by ensuring the reliability and efficiency of electricity generation and use.

NREL seeks to investigate and demonstrate how clean energy technologies can work together holistically to provide grid services and increase the hosting capacity of these technologies on the grid. INTEGRATE will enable study of an integrated system, various classes of energy systems and various systems architectures using the latest smart grid technology. The INTEGRATE program will lay the foundation to directly impact how future sustainable energy systems at various scales must be designed, operated and managed in order to achieve their sustainability and economic objectives, while maintaining reliable electric service, thus paving the way for adoption of clean energy technologies at scale.

Smarter Grid Solutions will demonstrate an integrated energy system incorporating their Active Network Management (ANM) technology to deliver increased hosting capacity on distribution grids for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) connections. ANM emerged as a domain that is commonly found in smart grids and future network concepts, including Utility 2.0. It has the ability to manage and maintain the distribution grid within operating limits through the autonomous management, coordination and control of DER in real-time.

This project will deploy ANM at NREL in order to prove the full scope and capability of the technology to address the major emerging requirements of the North American power industry with respect to DER integration. The project will leverage the hardware in the loop simulation capabilities available at NREL to demonstrate the full range of capabilities of ANM, and the benefits in terms of increased hosting capacity.

This demonstration will prove the capabilities of ANM, raise the profile of ANM and influence the wider real-world adoption of ANM in North America.

Demonstrating the full range of ANM capabilities will also be of interest to regulators and politicians looking to evolve utility business models that incentivize and address issues associated with new technology adoption. Exploring the provision of grid services from DER devices that are also incorporated within local control of part of the distribution grid, will provide an opportunity to demonstrate the coordination of control objectives, which has not been demonstrated at this scale before with ANM.

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