DER Interconnection & Integration Studies

The interconnection of any energy resource to the electrical grid requires careful attention to its impact on the surrounding system and consumers. This is true whether the source is landfill gas to energy generation, peaking power plants, community PV, battery storage, or any other type of distributed energy resource (DER). As DER penetration continues to increase at the distribution level, it is especially important to apply a methodical evaluation process to determine the adequacy of the existing plant to accommodate such generation.

At the onset of a DER interconnection, our team can perform a system impact study that includes:

  • Voltage and thermal limitations in a worst case steady-state condition
  • Voltage magnitude and flicker dynamics of the transient circuit response
  • Distribution system protection schemes, protection sensitivity, reclosing, etc.
  • Resonant frequency of the system and objectionable harmonic distortion

Next, we perform a facilities study to determine specific modifications required to the existing system to ensure safe and reliable operation and to address any concerns identified within the system impact study.

Facilities recommendations may include:

  • Any necessary metering or monitoring capability and associated equipment
  • Required protection upgrades of new installations
  • Upgrades to existing distribution facilities to address identified violations
  • Adjustments to existing regulation or protection settings to ensure proper system operation
  • Budgetary estimates for implementing facilities recommendations

These evaluations performed in tandem will provide a thorough understanding of the steady state and dynamic response of the distribution system, including any existing DER, to the proposed generation, and identify appropriate equipment and facilities improvements to enable the interconnection.

Our DER Interconnection & Integration Studies Experts

Tom Chambers, P.E.

Regional Lead, System Engineer

Doug Joens, P.E.

Vice President of System Planning and Studies

Sean Kufel, P.E.

Regional Lead, System Engineer

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