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Uses for Distributed Photovoltaic and Storage Systems

A range of factors are driving increases in the quantity of distributed photovoltaics connected to utility distribution systems. Going forward, it is anticipated that this growth will continue and that battery storage systems may also become common. These systems are expected to be both customer and utility owned. In either case, there is interest in understanding the full range of ways in which these systems might be used to maximize their value, to enable their integration in large numbers, and to optimize the behavior of the grid.

This report provides a compilation of known use cases for distributed photovoltaic and storage systems. Each use is presented in the form of a brief description that focuses on how the distributed resources are utilized (i.e. the function they perform) and not on the specifics of a particular system architecture. The uses have been compiled from multiple sources, including the Smart Grid work of the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and several individual utilities in addition to internal research at EPRI.

The resulting contents provide a concise reference for utilities, manufacturers, and system integrators to understand a range of ideas that have been considered by others. The integration of distributed photovoltaic and storage systems is a rapidly evolving subject matter and new uses will be incorporated in future revisions of this work.

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