Grid Connectivity of Distributed Generation (GCDG)


Chairman: Robert Wilhite, III, DNVKEMA

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> Read the press release

The working group Grid Connectivity of Distributed Generation (GCDG) deals with the connection of small generation and their integration in the overall system. The aim is to overcome vendor specific approaches and to make the behavior transparent to the user, the supplier and the grid operator. In that respect, grid codes as found in all synchronous systems can serve as a framework of thinking.

Distributed generation, as outlined by the GCDG, is generally considered to be small (up to 20 MW) electric production facilities dedicated to the support of nearby associated load. DG can utilize both renewable (photovoltaic, wind, water, farm waste, etc.) and non-renewable energy sources (natural gas or other fossil fuels for conventional engines, turbines and fuel cells). When considering power grid connectivity for each of these forms of DG, there are numerous issues that arise with conventional power transmission and distribution systems. On the distribution level, small-scale renewable energy systems can cause concerns with the loading, harmonic content, and voltage support effects.

The proposed objective is to produce a white paper, addressing core issues of connecting distributed generation to distribution grids, but with a holistic view that does not promote a specific technology or particular manufacturer or supplier. The intent of the paper, to be delivered in late 2013, is to be highly relevant in its findings and recommendations, but will not try to be all- encompassing to avoid being slowed by attempts to include all forms of emerging technologies.

The outline of our target white paper was finalized and will be further detailed to guide the next phase of research, review, and writing. The workgroup has agreed to conduct research and develop the white paper by focusing on the principal drivers for distribution-connected DG systems, namely (1) Economics, (2)Technology, and (3) Policy & Regulatory issues. Each of these three sections will provide a comparison and contrast of key issues under this topic across international geographies.

The intent is to approach the development of the paper by focusing on each of the three driver sections (financial, technological, policy/regulatory), rather than make it geographically focused, but with adequate comparisons and contrasts across the various geographies within each driver section. This will provide the best approach to identifying the key issues and summarizing potential solutions as the research unfolds.

The workgroup is also gathering supporting documents including previous public reports, white papers, or work artifacts that we can reference for our topic prior to initially developing sections of the report. It was felt that given the strong focus on distributed renewable energy systems in Germany, it is needed to reach out to colleagues to ensure adequate representation from this country, as well as seeking to include a view of the focus on renewable energy systems in Brazil and other parts of Latin America.

We are still early enough in our effort to take on new volunteers, so please contact Rob Wilhite (Robert.wilhite@dnvkema.com) with your ideas, suggestions, and offers of assistance.

Current membership:

  • Australia: Dr Ke Meng
  • Canada: Alex Bettencourt
  • Taiwan Dr. Chien-Kuo Chan*
  • Norway Ole-Morten MidtgÃ¥rd
  • Korea Jin-sang Park^
  • Korea Jinog Joo^
  • Denmark Richard Schalburg
  • Japan Seiji Morishima
  • Japan Yuichiro Shimura
  • Japan Hideyuki Miyaji
  • U.S. Rick Meeker