High Penetration Photovoltaic Case Study Report

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Technical concerns with integrating higher penetrations of photovoltaic (PV) systems include grid stability, voltage regulation, power quality (voltage rise, sags, flicker, and frequency fluctuations), and protection and coordination. The current utility grid was designed to accommodate power flows from the central generation source to the transmission system and eventually to the distributionfeeders. At the distribution level, the system was designed to carry power from the substation toward the load. Renewable distributed generation, particularly solar PV, provides power at the distribution level challenging this classical paradigm. As these resources become more commonplace the nature of the distribution network and its operation is changing to handle power flow in both directions. This report is focused on large PV installations in which penetration is significantly greater than 15% of maximum daytime feeder load. These case studies are intended to demonstrate success stories with integration of large PV plants at the distribution level as well as some of the solutions used by the utility to ensure safe, reliable operation of both the PV system and the distributionnetwork.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-54742


  • Hawaii
  • high penetration
  • photovoltaic
  • solar


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