IEA PVPS Task 14: High Penetration of PV Systems in Electricity Grids (working period 2010 - 2014)

The main goal of Task 14 is to promote the use of grid-connected PV as an important source in electric power systems at the higher penetration levels that may require additional efforts to integrate dispersed generators. The aim of these efforts is to reduce the technical barriers to achieving high penetration levels of distributed renewable systems.

Short Description

The Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA-PVPS) served for networking of national stakeholders with relevant international photovoltaics experts. The PVPS Implementing Agreement (IA) with its 24 countries participating as well as two sponsors from PV associations is one of the largest and well managed activities within the IEA implementing Agreements.

The main goal of Task 14, led by Austria as Operating Agent, is to analyze the role of grid connected PV as an important source in electric power systems on a high penetration level. Additional efforts may be necessary to integrate the dispersed generators in an optimum manner. The aim of these efforts is to reduce the technical barriers to achieving high penetration levels of PV systems on the electric power system. Task 14 will focus on working with utilities, industry, and other stakeholders to develop the technologies and methods enabling the widespread deployment of distributed PV technologies into the electricity grids in an internationally coordinated manner.

The objectives of Task 14 are to

  1. develop and verify mainly technical requirements for PV systems and electric power systems to allow for high penetrations of PV systems interconnected with the grid
  2. develop the adequate active role of PV systems related to energy management and system control of electricity grids

Task 14 focuses on electricity grid configurations with a high penetration of RES, where PV constitutes the main RES and considers high penetration solutions for both distributed and central PV generation scenarios.

The main added value through transnational cooperation is bringing together experts from different countries to jointly analyze the scenarios of high penetration PV based on their own practical and theoretical experiences and providing access to more transparent technical analyses that allow industry, grid operators, energy planners as well as authorities in the energy business to decide on steps to be taken and strategies to be developed on a sound basis.

This activity will contribute to a common understanding and a broader consensus on how to adequately evaluate the value of PV in high penetration by

  • Showing the full potential of grid integrated photovoltaics,
  • Easy access to the main findings of the reports is expected to mitigate concerns of high penetration PV to the benefit of a large number of countries.

With many larger PV installations coming grid-connected, they are expected to be interconnected with distribution grids having different characteristics such as grid topology, load and generation mixes. Their penetration effects will likely need to be dealt with differently depending on various penetration levels and circuit characteristics.