Distributed Energy Resources (DER), Smart Grid and Decarbonising the Power Industry

Wed, 2020-09-09 22:05 -- 104096
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 17:00
Professor Luis Ochoa, University of Melbourne and Ms Katie Brown, DELWP, Melbourne
On Line
Event Details: 


The focus of the Webinar on understanding:

  • The impact of DER on power supply systems and role of Smart Grid in adopting DER in the future system development.
  • How the DER and Smart Grid technologies relate to Government policies and power industry future strategies

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Seminar Topics

Solar PV Hosting Capacity of Distribution Networks: The Benefits of Non-Traditional Solutions  (Prof Ochoa)

Electricity distribution companies in many countries around the world are finding it challenging to allow residential customers to continue to install photovoltaic (PV) systems due to the potential technical impacts resulting from high penetrations. To remove these barriers, speed up connection times, and reduce costs, it is crucial for distribution companies to increase the PV hosting capacity of their low and medium voltage networks. Adequately exploiting the capabilities of existing and new network assets, PV inverters and batteries will be key.
This talk presents the benefits from adopting non-traditional solutions such as strict Volt-Watt and Volt-Var PV inverter settings, OLTC-fitted LV transformers, Battery Energy Storage (BES) systems with Off-the-Shelf (OTS) and smarter controllers in combination with traditional solutions, and dynamic voltage target at zone substation OLTC aiming at increasing the solar PV hosting capacity of PV-rich distribution networks. The study was carried out as part of the project "Advanced Planning of PV-Rich Distribution Networks" funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the distribution company AusNet Services. It includes the results of one the most advanced, highly-granular, detailed studies performed on multiple fully-modelled 22kV feeders (i.e., urban and rural, including pseudo low voltage networks) from Victoria, Australia considering time-series seasonal analyses and growing penetrations of solar PV. Findings show that the adaptive control of OLTC-fitted LV transformers can effectively manage voltages and, in combination with network augmentation, can increase hosting capacity to 100%. OTS BES systems do not change the hosting capacity as they are unable to reduce peak PV exports (they become full early in the day). However, advanced BES controllers that do reduce exports (such as the investigated Network Smart controller), could help increase hosting capacity to 100% without much need for network augmentation. The strict Volt-Watt and Volt-Var settings, as well as the dynamic voltage target at the primary substation OLTC, are effective in mitigating voltage problems. However, asset congestion can still occur, limiting their ability to significantly increase hosting capacity.

Harnessing the benefits of DER for all Victorians (Ms Brown)

New technologies, consumer choice and the need to combat climate change are dismantling the traditional model of centralised, fossil-fuel generation and replacing it with a model that is decentralised, decarbonised and democratised.  The scale of this technological change is unmatched in our lifetimes.

Much of the transformation is being driven by the rapid uptake of DER technologies, which is re-orienting our energy system toward the consumer. For example, about 20 percent of Victorian households now have solar PV, and that figure is expected to grow to 50 percent over the next decade. DER technologies contribute to Victoria’s headline targets of 50 percent renewables by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. However, DER also aligns with the Victorian Government’s broader principle of democratising energy and allowing energy users to actively participate in the energy transition.

Katie’s presentation outlines how the Victorian Government is approaching the integration of DER, not just from a technical perspective, but also from a social and regulatory perspective. That approach must be flexible given the dynamic nature of DER technologies, but it must keep the consumer perspective at its core.

About the Presenters

Professor Luis (Nando) Ochoa

Luis(Nando) Ochoa is Professor of Smart Grids and Power Systems at The University of Melbourne, and part-time Professor of Smart Grids at The University of Manchester, UK. His expertise in network integration of distributed energy resources (DER) and his extensive portfolio of industrial and academic projects have led to 170+ publications, 60+ technical reports, and two patents, one filed by Psymetrix Ltd (now part of GE) and one filed by The University of Melbourne. Prof Ochoa is an IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer and is also Editorial Board Member of the IEEE Power and Energy Magazine. Prof Ochoa is an IEEE Senior Member since 2012. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from UNI (Peru), and a Research MSc and a PhD in Electrical Power Engineering, both from UNESP Ilha Solteira (Brazil).”

Ms Katie Brown

Katie is the Director of the Distributed Energy Resources Strategy branch in the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). In this role she is working to ensure consumers are at the centre of the energy transition, promote the use of distributed energy resources, remove technical and regulatory barriers to their full integration into the energy system, and develop new markets where opportunities exist.

She is passionate about renewable energy and making faster progress towards net zero emissions, whilst ensuring everyone has access to affordable and reliable energy. Prior to joining DELWP she spent almost 20 years working in industry in numerous leadership and technical roles for Esso Australia, so has made an energy transition herself! She holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science.