PEC 2023 Preliminary Program


Dr. Ben Kroposki Director - Power Systems Engineering Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Topic: The Need for Grid-forming Inverters in Electric Power Systems Abstract: As the prices of variable renewables such as wind and solar continue to decline, these technologies will start to make up increasingly larger parts of the clean energy portfolio. Wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have two characteristics that make them different from

conventional generation. First is that their output is variable and depends on the local solar and wind resource availability; the other is that these technologies are based on inverters to interconnect to the power grid instead of synchronous generators used in conventional power plants. At all timescales, it is important to maintain stable and reliable grid operations. With the increasing use of inverter-based resources and reduction in the use of synchronous generation there are a variety of technical challenges that must be overcome. These include: operational stability, protection system coordination, blackstart capability, and power system harmonics and oscillations. Most of these issues can be addressed by adapting the control algorithms used in the inverter to provide a range of essential grid reliability services and by using the grid-forming inverter technology. For the most part, existing wind and solar PV are using grid-following inverters that require a grid voltage to be synchronized. As the levels of inverter-based resources rise, there is a need for grid-forming inverter technologies to provide overall grid stability functions for the grid. These grid-forming inverters will be needed at very high levels of wind and solar deployments. There are also a variety of solutions to address the variability and uncertainty of wind and solar resources such as increasing grid flexibility to accommodate the changes in power output. These methods for increasing system flexibility include: improved grid operations and renewable forecasting, improved flexibility and ramping capability of the conventional generators, expanded transmission systems, demand response and load control, and energy storage. As we transition to 100% clean electricity grids, there are still a number of technical challenges that need to be addressed. This presentation will discuss these challenges and talk about solutions that provide a pathway to achieve 100% clean energy systems. Bio: Dr. Ben Kroposki is the Director of the Power Systems Engineering Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he leads NREL’s strategic research in the design, planning and operations of electrical power systems. He has over 30 years of experience in the design, testing, and integration of renewable and distributed power systems and has more than 150 publications in these areas with over 10,000 citations. Dr. Kroposki received his BSEE and MSEE from Virginia Tech and Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Kroposki is the recipient

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