Today the Minnesota Department of Commerce released Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) report for the Minnesota Solar Pathways Project. The analysis demonstrated how different advanced technologies can accommodate more PV connections on a distribution network.
SGS’ analysis explored the application of smart inverters, energy storage, thermal load shifting, and curtailment. The report also examined applying a portfolio of the four technologies to further increase the hosting capacity on a particular feeder.
The analysis showed that there is not a “one size fits all” answer to increasing hosting capacity beyond a feeder’s static limit, since each feeder faces different constraints. One advanced technology solution may be particularly good at resolving a particular constraint, but no single solution is capable of resolving every constraint across the board. For some feeders, a combined technology scenario is required to resolve multiple constraints.
In addition to the main report, SGS also undertook a cost analysis to determine the comparative costs of the advanced technologies, helping to define the most cost-effective solution for each feeder.
Bill Grant, Deputy Commissioner, MN Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources said: “As Minnesota utilities, businesses and residents increasingly invest in solar energy, it is important to evaluate technology options like smart inverters, energy storage and curtailment that can provide greater grid hosting capacity. We're pleased that this enhanced hosting capacity study by SGS will advance conversations about how to expand the toolkit of cost-effective solutions to increase the grid’s ability to integrate solar energy in Minnesota.”
This project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Technologies Office and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Smarter Grid Solutions is a world-leading DERMS software provider, serving Distribution Utility, System Operator and Energy Asset Operator customers around the world from its offices in Glasgow, New York and London, and through its global partner network.
Its flagship products, ANM Strata and ANM Element, have enabled the connection and real-time monitoring and control of over 300 MW of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and delivered over $200 million of value to its customers.