IEEE continues buildout of portfolio of standards for solar-generation market

With projects that range from grid interconnection and storage to system installation and safety, IEEE delivers standards that help drive the solar market by paving the way for innovations to be more cost-effectively developed and implemented worldwide.

"Utility systems were not originally engineered for tasks such as linking with active, distribution-level generation technologies such as solar and their associated storage systems, but, as the world’s needs have evolved, standards have played an integral role in helping the power industry respond," said Dick DeBlasio, chair of IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 21, chief engineer at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) facility of the U.S. Department of Energy and IEEE Smart Grid liaison to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "The global rollout of the smart grid has only intensified that trend by fanning global demand for solar and other renewable-energy technologies. IEEE continues to serve as a global catalyst for standards that fuel such a cycle of technological and business growth."

For example, IEEE 1547(TM) "Standard for Distributed Resources Interconnected with Electric Power Systems" established groundbreaking technical specifications (performance, operation, testing, safety considerations and maintenance of a grid interconnection, etc.) for solar and other distributed-generation technologies of 10 MegaVolt Ampere (MVA) or less at the point of common coupling. IEEE published the standard in 2003 and reaffirmed it in 2008.

As the needs of global utilities, solar-generation and other distributed-resource operators, equipment providers and regulators changed, IEEE has rolled out a series of extensions to the base standard. Today, expansion of the IEEE 1547 series of interconnection standards continues in order to encompass more energy generation systems (photovoltaic, wind, micro-turbines, etc.) IEEE P1547.8(TM) "Draft Recommended Practice for Establishing Methods and Procedures that Provide Supplemental Support for Implementation Strategies for Expanded Use of IEEE Standard 1547" is being developed to identify innovative designs, processes and operational procedures that might enhance the usefulness of the base standard. Extending IEEE 1547-based interconnection to emergent technologies via IEEE P1547.8 is intended to expand utilities’ flexibility in engaging with solar and other renewable sources.

In addition to IEEE P1547.8, work continues on IEEE P1547.7(TM) "Draft Guide to Conducting Distribution Impact Studies for Distributed Resource Interconnection." IEEE 1547 and its related interconnection standards are published and available at the IEEE Standards Store. The IEEE 1547 series is part of a portfolio of more than 100 active IEEE standards or standards in development that are relevant to the smart grid.

IEEE is scheduled to exhibit in Booth B2.120 at Intersolar Europe at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre in Munich, Germany, 13-15 June.