Deploying High Penetration Photovoltaic Systems: A Case Study

Michael H. Coddington, David Baca, Benjamin D. Kroposki, Thomas Basso

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

11 Scopus Citations


Photovoltaic (PV) system capacity penetration, or simply "penetration," is often defined as the rated power output of the aggregate PV systems on a distribution circuit segment divided by the peak load of that circuit segment. Industry experts agree that a single value defining high penetration is not universally applicable. However, it is generally agreed that a conservative value to designate high penetration is the condition when the ratio of aggregate PV systems ratings to peak load exceeds 15%. This case study illustrates the case of a distribution feeder which is able to accommodate a traditional capacity penetration level of 47%, and perhaps more. New maximum penetration levels need to be defined and verified and enhanced definitions for penetration on a distribution circuit need to be developed. The new penetration definitions and studies will help utility engineers, system developers, and regulatory agencies better agree what levels of PV deployment can be attained without jeopardizing the reliability and power quality of a circuit.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2011
Event37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: 19 Jun 201124 Jun 2011


Conference37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-51970


  • photovoltaics
  • pv systems
  • utility distribution


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