New Standards Sought for Inverters

PJM is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve a new set of standards for a technology that enables asynchronous generation projects, such as wind and solar, to better connect to the grid. PJM filed its proposal with the FERC on March 6.

The standards are for new projects that use inverters as part of their transmission connection. They would apply to projects that submit a PJM generation interconnection request on or after May 1, 2015. The standards do not impact existing generators nor would apply to projects less than 10 kilowatts.

The standards are needed to address potential reliability issues with inverters that connect asynchronous generators to the grid. Generators of this type are connecting more frequently, and the existing inverters provide little to no reactive support to the grid – an essential element to grid stability.

A subgroup of the PJM Planning Committee worked on this issue last year and approved the proposal with 98.5 percent in favor. On Jan. 22 the proposed tariff changes were approved by the PJM Members Committee by acclamation with no objections and one abstention.