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View Diary: President Obama orders the federal government to get 20% of its energy from renewables by 2020 (164 comments)

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  •  Problems seen already for DG PV (0+ / 0-)

    Voltage regulation at secondary level
    Voltage control of primary distribution lines
    Voltage flicker at secondary and primary levels
    VAR control schemes on distribution
    System planning difficulties due to lack of information about distributed generation behavior.
    Protection coordination and fault finding (power flow direction issues)
    The biggee that dare not speak its name: unconfirmed reports of short term islanding with other DG resources.

    One limit which will show up well below 20% for <20MW PV DG, is if inverters are programmed (for anti-islanding reasons) to jump ship as soon as there is a problem with voltage or frequency, they will become your largest system contingency at some level of penetration, what happens when a real contingency is the reason they are jumping ship?  We will have to start pushing transmission level requirements for LVRT, and curtailment, etc down to smaller scale as penetration goes up.

    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

    by benamery21 on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 09:19:04 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  cowboy up and join the 21st century, boys. (0+ / 0-)

      if the utilities are going to keep using 19th century
      switching, management and thinking sure,
      it's going to be a isaster but the utilities are
      going to have to move fast.

      •  A few $T dollars of infrastructure inertia (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marathon, reddog1, ferg

        on the utility side, and quite a bit more on the utilization side doesn't shift overnight, and expecting those parties to pay to accomodate the new players isn't the way the market is supposed to work, either.  The fact that utilities are bureaucracies doesn't mean that interconnecting generation requires no more knowledge or forethought or infrastructure addition than plugging in a toaster or that installers should be allowed to do it willy-nilly without proper review, design, and controls.  A synchronized grid is a single machine, everything anybody does affects everybody else, and limits on what you are allowed to do are as necessary as traffic laws or OSHA regs.  Getting away with breaking them doesn't mean they are wrong, it just means everybody got lucky.

        Now, if for instance, installers didn't submit cookie-cutter one-lines which bear no relationship to the actual field install, and install things that bear no relationship to the agreed design, and do things like add buck-boost transformers to inverters to keep from tripping the inverter while it hi-pots the neighbors, and design and build things that don't comply with clearly stated rules, and change agreed operating modes after installation, and had to pay to upgrade things that they impact, things might go a little smoother.

        Note: I am actually a big believer in DG and renewables, I grew up in a house with solar hot water that now has PV, my brother lived off grid with PV, small wind, and batteries for years, my father's company does PV installs and I've provided PE stamps, and installation labor, and I've reviewed hundreds of utility interconnections from less than 1kw to 100's of MW's and helped clear some of the red tape for some installers and developers, but this idea that some proponents have that this is all about saving the world from the big bad-acting utilities is just silly.  If the grid is such a bad deal, I'm sure they'd pull the meter if you asked.  Part of the reason that I started work for a utility is that I take seriously old-fashioned ideas like utilities being a public service, bringing power to the people at a small markup over cost, and with an obligation to provide guidance to the individual customer as to how to minimize costs, and to the customer base and regulatory body about how to do so globally.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 01:37:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i'm talking Megatrend here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ModerateJosh

          1) Efficiency is killing consumption growth.
          People are swapping in LED Lighting now, which is just about cold light. That's a big deal.  If you look in australia,
          growth in electricity demand is turning negative.

          2) People are installing PV at a frightening rate.
          It's turning Exponential.  When the damn things start
          becoming 20% you will see some major scrambling in
          utilities as their profits collapse.

          3) Utilitites have a ton of old school thinking and investments.  All that SCADA gear?  It's 1950's level tech.
          Heck, some utilities run in band signaling at LF.

          The Big Utilitities have been relectant to put fiber optics hanging from their High Tension towers. Those were towers going from one population node to another, with ROW and Road access. Had in the 90's the Utilitites teamed up with the Fiber companies, they could have had the country wired for Fiber in weeks,  and they'd have the fiber infrastructure to monitor the grid at light speed.  The Utiltites finally cottoned on to letting Cell sites get hung from their towers, but, they were real resistant to fiber at least out here.

          fast information means they can see whats happening.

          And anciallary services will become a new revenue line, selling Voltage protection, frequency support, etc, will become the model.

          The Grid will move from selling electrons to selling smart electrons, or the utilities will die.

          that's the reality.

        •  long comments make my brain hurt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          benamery21, ModerateJosh

          Owwwwwwww!

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