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DER certification

Words: Bernd Hinzer, Principal Engineer and Head of Section Grid Code Compliance and Tobias Gehlhaar
Principal Engineer, DNV GL

Utility grid interconnection requirements for distributed generation, including solar, have been evolving to support higher levels of penetration. The new requirement that Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) have to meet according to IEEE 1547 requires verification that the DER asset is compliant to this new standard. This article describes DNV GL’s 3-step approach, which ensures verification and can contribute to a more cost effective project and provide long-term benefits.

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) can put stress on the power grid [8]. Interconnection requirements for improving electrical reliability have been well known for a long time and DNV GL has worked in the implementation of these for many years. A good number of new requirements have been developed over time [1]. DNV GL refers to these official documents as “grid codes” whether they are laws, orders, standards, or any other document that identifies requirements for safe and utility supportive integration of DER to the power grid. Regional rules for interconnection and interoperability of DER are also routinely identified and these also require DER compliance. These grid codes are evolving. New regulations come up and they have to be implemented. This often happens cross-regionally in order to handle the increasing amount of DER generators connected to the electrical power grid.

In the United States, a new draft of the next revision of IEEE 1547 has been communicated (working title: “P1547/D4.0, May 2016, IEEE Standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces”) [4]. Finalisation of this standard is expected in 2017. The corresponding test standard, IEEE P1547.1 is being revised consequently and the finalisation is expected in 2018/2019. IEEE 1547 defines three technology-neutral categories of performance for DER, powered by wind, powered by solar, and powered by biogas or water, as well as, being connected to storage systems.

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