This project had been designed to develop and deploy an advanced distributed control and communication infrastructure with the goal of optimizing renewable resource utilization and system benefits. It aimed to integrate high-penetration distributed Photovoltaic (PV) systems, local storage, and substation-sited PV and storage with both local distribution system management and overall load management at the system level. At the local level, the project had an aim of evaluating smart inverter interface technologies to enhance system benefits, applying previous work in the area of smart inverter interface software to residential and substation-based PV. Another purpose of this project was to match local loads with rate structures to identify and resolve technical issues related to high penetration of renewable generation at the utility distribution level. It had been investigating and analyzing additional consumer-based demand response opportunities using a modern communication infrastructure integrated with a Home Area Network (HAN), commercial building control systems and smart devices .
PNM Project Features :
• Making use of a Greenfield Development Model focused on renewables and efficient energy
• Developing Sandia National Labs (SNL)/PNM Smart Inverter research
• Making use of SNL demonstration lab and focusing expertise to help model and prototype technologies prior to implementation
• Making use of latest analytical software tool and analysis developed by EPRI
• Defining requirements to create a firm peaking PV/DG resource
• Forming collaborations with leading industry players based on front end technology mapping screened against customer and utility requirements
This PV plus storage project (located on PNM’s Studio Substation distribution feeder) included a 500 kW PV system installation with 2,158 Schott solar panels. The energy storage system was comprised of Ecoult/ East Penn Manufacturing Advanced Lead Acid batteries with an energy rating of 1 MWh for shifting, and UltraBattery™ advanced lead acid battery units with a power rating of 500 kW for smoothing. The UltraBattery had been built for quick response, operating at a high discharge and charge rate. In a case study from this project it was found that intermittent PV generation can be stored locally in the energy storage system with little output to the grid over a day’s production. This energy can then be dispatched with a defined time duration and output level (firm energy production), or with a varying production that offsets a predicted feeder peak (peak shaving) .