EPRI publishes new state-funded standard for DER optimisation


The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has published a new communication standard to help grid operators to enhance the performance and value of distributed energy resources.

The standard DNP3 Application Note AN2018-001 — DNP3 Profile for Communications with Distributed Energy Resources has been developed in partnership with the DNP Users Group, the MESA Standards Alliance, SunSpec Alliance, EnerNex, and Xanthus Consulting.

The development of the standard is funded by the California Energy Commission and aims to enhance the use of energy storage and solar generation connected to smart inverters.

The funding is part of the Electric Programme Investment Charge whose motive is to help California achieve its energy and environmental sustainability goals at a lower cost, by funding clean energy research, development and testing projects.

Ben Ealey, EPRI senior project manager, said: “DER are developing rapidly to provide new capabilities in serving customers and the grid. Yet without a standard way for utilities to communicate with new technologies, they cannot reach their full interactive potential.

“We closed gaps in older communication models, which didn’t have the ‘words’ to command new capabilities of smart inverters and battery storage. We’ve added ‘new words’ for utility grid operators to use that can unlock emerging capabilities of DER, most specifically within the storage domain.”

The project continues through to March 2019 with MESA planning to update its specification for utility-scale energy storage system data exchanges.

The update will address configuration management, operational state, and functions applicable under the DNP3 profile for advanced DER functions.