Insights from PPL’s DERMS Implementation
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Insights from PPL’s DERMS Implementation

  • Key insights from Keystone Solar Future Project
  • Recommendations from PPL for other utilities

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation’s Keystone Solar Future Project (KSFP) is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewables, Energy Enabling Extreme Real-time Grid Integration of Solar Energy (ENERGISE) grant. The three-year project, beginning in October, 2017, funded an innovative pilot program to develop and evaluate a technology platform and framework for managing high levels of distributed energy resources (DER), and improving future DER interconnection.

The KSFP aimed to bridge gaps between existing and future technology, including Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS), by monitoring, managing, and optimizing a system with high penetration of solar and other DER. Specifically, the project worked to make Distribution Management Systems (DMS) applications, devices, and real-time communications technology DER-aware to allow for advanced applications for utility operations. By installing and implementing a DERMS, project designers transformed how DERs interact with PPL’s distribution system, offering learnings and results worth sharing industry-wide.

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) worked with PPL to provide utility industry expertise addressing innovation in DER integration, interconnection and DERMS implementation. As part of this objective, SEPA convened a utility peer review committee to provide feedback and insights to PPL throughout the KSFP process. SEPA also collaborated with the PPL team to share lessons learned from the project.

Several key recommendations for the industry to consider and implement:

  • Streamlining and automating DER interconnection processes
  • Implementing DERMS and making utility grid operations DER-aware
  • Establishing communication protocols to enable success
  • Lessons learned from customer enrollment and engagement process

Insights from PPL’s DERMS Implementation