Impact of Photovoltaic Generation on Distribution Systems

Due to strong incentives, there has been increasing interest in photovoltaic (PV) systems interconnected to distribution systems as a form of distributed generation. Of all the various types of distributed generation (DG), it appears that PV has the greatest potential for widespread application. It is also one of the types of DG that are most suited for small-scale application, which makes the distribution system the gateway for solar PV. This form of DG can have impacts on the distribution system that are significantly different from most other types of DG, such as engine-driven generators.

This project will produce a white paper evaluating the impacts of PV on distribution systems. Inputs to the paper will be based on available literature, experience gained by GE Energy Consulting in performing PV integration studies, and illustrative simulations and calculations to demonstrate the potential impact. These inputs will be combined with critical analysis, in the same spirit as the analysis performed in the Project 8-8 review of general DG impacts. Some of the issues of specific focus in this report will be:

  • Correlation of PV output variations and the importance of geographic diversity.
  • Voltage regulation, and specifically rapid voltage variation, will be examined in detail. Approaches that can be used to mitigate these variations will also be discussed and demonstrated in simulations.
  • Protection impacts of PV; under what circumstances will these impacts be significant.
  • The impact of present standards and potential future standards on PV integration.
  • Evaluation of harmonic issues, in perspective with other harmonic sources commonly connected to distribution systems, and potential mitigation options.
  • Evaluation of steady-state imbalance

Tagged: P9-13, P13, Engineering Analysis Software, Engineering Guidelines, Industry Perspectives / White Papers, Operational Efficiency, System Reliability, Smart Grid and DA, DER Impact