Planning Committee all about education

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Stakeholders learned about short-term and long-term initiatives for grid reliability, distributed energy resources and better interconnections at a short Planning Committee meeting Oct. 11.

Emanuel Bernabeu, director – Applied Innovation & Analytics, took stakeholders through the problem statement and issue charge for the inverter-based distributed energy resources ride through, with a look at some of the feedback from the Oct. 1–2 workshop.

The problem statement defines the issue as follows:  “As the number of distributed energy resources (DER) grows in PJM, primarily solar PV (photovoltaics), there is a need for PJM, transmission owners, electric distribution companies, state regulatory agencies and other stakeholders to coordinate on the operational performance requirements and potential impacts to the bulk electric system (BES). For BES reliability, the key performance requirements for DER are frequency and voltage ride through. Ride through requires resources to stay connected to the system for a very short period of time in the event of a wide area disturbance, rather than trip offline and potentially exacerbate abnormal BES conditions.”

Bernabeu cited failures of ride through contingencies exacerbating system disturbances in Western Europe (2006), Australia (2016) and California (2016).

The objectives will be to develop a PJM-wide consensus on trip settings that will conform to the new standard from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and develop a best practices guide for state/local regulators.

Other Committee Business

In advance of the Oct. 16 special Planning Committee meeting on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 845 compliance requirements, Susan McGill, manager – Interconnection Analysis, provided an update to PJM’s actions to date and noted that there will be a much more robust discussion at the special session.

McGill said FERC has adopted most of the 10 reforms listed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and discussed at the first special Planning Committee meeting in August.

The four remaining reforms are more challenging, however. They require more changes to the interconnection process and are still works in progress. Required changes are:

  • Requesting interconnection service below generating facility capacity
  • Provisional interconnection service
  • Utilization of surplus service
  • Material modification and incorporation of advanced technologies

McGill also gave a brief overview of potential changes for transmission interconnection requests. She  cautioned that these discussions are preliminary.

Some customers have proposed new and creative ways to connect offshore wind to the PJM system. There is interest in creating offshore transmission networks, in addition to single connections to the transmission system.

Nothing in PJM’s current Tariff language that addresses interconnection requests (generation and merchant transmission) is designed for offshore networks. PJM is working over the next few months to develop the appropriate documentation and processes for the interconnection of offshore wind.

Mark Sims, manager – Infrastructure Coordination, gave a brief review of the cost containment evaluations process. PJM continues to meet with Monitoring Analytics, PJM’s independent market monitor, to develop key milestones. PJM will share progress and more details with stakeholders in the near future.

Stakeholders endorsed the 2018 Installed Reserve Margin Study results and looked at upgrades for the Planning page on PJM.com.

Stakeholders heard updates on: