Simulation of Hawaiian Electric Companies Feeder Operations with Advanced Inverters and Analysis of Annual Photovoltaic Energy Curtailment

Julieta Giraldez Miner, Adarsh Nagarajan, Peter Gotseff, Venkat Krishnan, Anderson Hoke, Reid Ueda, Jon Shindo, Marc Asano, Earle Ifuku

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Hawaiian Electric Companies achieved a consolidated Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of approximately 26% at the end of 2016. This significant RPS performance was achieved using various renewable energy sources - biomass, geothermal, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, hydro, wind, and biofuels - and customer-sited, grid-connected technologies (primarily private rooftop solar PV systems). The Hawaiian Electric Companies are preparing grid-modernization plans for the island grids. The plans outline specific near-term actions to accelerate the achievement of Hawai'i's 100% RPS by 2045. A key element of the Companies' grid-modernization strategy is to utilize new technologies - including storage and PV systems with grid-supportive inverters - that will help to more than triple the amount of private rooftop solar PV systems. The Hawaiian Electric Companies collaborated with the Smart Inverter Technical Working Group Hawai'i (SITWG) to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to research the implementation of advanced inverter grid support functions (GSF). Together with the technical guidance from the Companies's planning engineers and stakeholder input from the SITWG members, NREL proposed a scope of work that explored different modes of voltage-regulation GSF to better understand the trade-offs of the grid benefits and curtailment impacts from the activation of selected advanced inverter grid support functions. The simulation results presented in this report examine the effectiveness in regulating voltage as well as the impact to the utility and the customers of various inverter-based grid support functions on two Hawaiian Electric distribution substations.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages118
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-68681


  • grid support
  • Hawaiian Electric Companies
  • inverter
  • PV
  • regulation
  • Renewable Portfolio Standard
  • RPS
  • Smart Inverter Technical Working Group Hawaii
  • solar photovoltaic
  • voltage


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