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IEA PVPS Press Release
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International Energy Agency
Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme
PRESS RELEASE
Paris, France, 07 December 2020 – The Task in charge of High Penetration of PV Systems in Electricity Grids (Task 14) have recently published  a report detailed below.
Communication and Control for High PV Penetration under Smart Grid Environment

Currently the integration of PV systems in the distributed systems follows a “fit and forget” rule. However, with the increasing penetration level, the intermittent and fluctuating energy availability of PV systems are introducing many challenges to existing grids. For example, with the household and industries having own generations, their electricity consumption is no longer predictable by utilities. Therefore, gathering information about the PV system and even controlling the PV systems is of highest importance to utilities. The smart grid, the next-generation of power grid, is designed to enable the massive deployment and efficient use of distributed energy resources, including PV. To support real-time information collection, analysis as well as automated control, the deployment of two-way communication and auto-control system for PV system integration is critical.

Based on the analysed state-of-the-art, literature review and the summarized smart grid projects, it has been found that in the conventional electrical power system infrastructure, communication systems have played an important role in some aspects, such as operation, market transactions, security and integration of large generation and distribution systems. On the distribution side, the electric network was mainly passive, operating in a feeding load scheme, with limited interaction between the supply and the loads. This required little or no communications at all. However, the integration of DERs, such as solar PV system in distribution system or customer premises has motivated the development of different control strategies to take advantage of distributed and controllable resources. This has highlighted the importance of last-mile communications networks as a supporting infrastructure to allow the different modes of operation of the electric distribution network.

The increasing penetration of distributed PV systems also request for a grid-scale coordinated control network. The control paradigm of current electrical power system is slow, open-looped, centralized, human-in-the-loop, deterministic and, in worst-case, preventive. At transmission level, the energy management system (EMS) coordinates system-wide decisions based on SCADA data. At the distribution level, traditional Volt/VAR control is designed mainly to cope with the slow variation s in load. However, the increasing penetration of solar PV with rapid and random fluctuations implies the future control must be real-time and closed-loop. The large-scale deployment of sensing, two-way high-speed communication infrastructure and the advanced PV inverters have provided the platform to realize the distributed, real-time closed-loop control architecture in the near future.

In the report, the communication and control system architecture models to enable distributed solar PV to be integrated into the future smart grid environment were reviewed. The existing communication technologies, protocols and current practice for solar PV integration are also introduced in the report. The survey results show that deployment of communication and control systems for distributed PV systems is increasing. The public awareness on the communication and control of grid-connected solar PV systems are raising. However, the actual development of communication and control system for distributed solar PV systems are still in the early stage. Many communication and technologies and control functions for distributed solar PV systems are still under experimental and demonstration phase.
 

The publication is available here.

About the IEA PVPS Task 14
Task 14 was established in 2010 within the IEA PVPS Programme in order to study the high impact of PV in the distribution and transmission grids. It has since then clarified significantly the major challenges and continues to propose solutions.

Contacts for Further Information:
G. Heilscher - gerd.heilscher@thu.de 
The International Energy Agency (IEA), founded in 1974, is an autonomous body within the framework of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Technology Collaboration Program (TCP) was created with a belief that the future of energy security and sustainability starts with global collaboration. The program is made up of thousands of experts across government, academia, and industry dedicated to advancing common research and the application of specific energy technologies.
The IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) is one of the TCP’s within the IEA and was established in 1993. The mission of the programme is to “enhance the international collaborative efforts which facilitate the role of photovoltaic solar energy as a cornerstone in the transition to sustainable energy systems.” In order to achieve this, the Programme’s participants have undertaken a variety of joint research projects in PV power systems applications. The overall programme is headed by an Executive Committee, comprised of one delegate from each country or organisation member, which designates distinct. ‘Tasks,’ that may be research projects or activity areas. This report has been prepared under Task 1, which deals with market and industry analysis, strategic research and facilitates the exchange and dissemination of information arising from the overall IEA PVPS Programme. 

The IEA PVPS participating countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States of America. The European Commission, Solar Power Europe, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Copper Alliance are also members. 
 
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