Distributed Wind Controls: A Research Roadmap for Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience, and Controls Launchpad (MIRACL)

James Reilly, Ram Poudel, Venkat Krishnan, Robert Preus, Ian Baring-Gould, Ben Anderson, Brian Naughton, Felipe Wilches-Bernal, Rachid Darbali

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Microgrids, Infrastructure Resilience, and Advanced Controls Launchpad (MIRACL) project’s controls research area aims to expand the benefits from distributed wind (DW) generation assets beyond solely providing low cost power directly to consumers. To make distributed wind turbines operate more effectively there is a need for more advanced ways to control them, allowing power companies, businesses, and energy consumers to take advantage of the unique characteristics of wind energy. DW can contribute to the safe and secure operation of grid by providing services such as voltage regulation, frequency regulation, spinning reserves, and even blackstart capabilities. In the larger DER context where much of the research has focused around solar technologies, the inertia available in wind technologies has generally not been considered. For wind turbines to provide these services in an optimal and expanded way, development and demonstration of control methods and communication interfaces within a grid and microgrid framework are required. In this document, NREL led the literature review in collaboration with SNL, of DER controls-focused integration research to establish a baseline for the controls research under the MIRACL project to identify specific control functions to be focused on throughout this project. This literature review focused primarily on the control functions of variable distributed generation, largely pulling from past solar PV and battery controls works, with a specific focus on applicability for distributed wind energy systems. The goal of this document is to identify a research roadmap based on the open literature and past national laboratory works to inform advanced wind turbine and power electronics control functions for four use cases: 1) distributed wind in isolated systems, 2) grid-connected microgrids (wind-hybrid systems and islanded operation), 3) behind-the-meter distributed wind applications in the power distribution systems, and 4) front-of-the-meter distributed wind applications in the power distribution systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages57
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-76748


  • behind the meter
  • controls
  • distributed energy resources
  • distributed wind
  • front of the meter
  • grid integration
  • inverter
  • isolated
  • microgrid
  • wind integration


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