ARCHIVED - Survey of Studies and Analysis Tools Used for Assessment of Distributed Generation Integration in Canadian Distribution Systems

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Candy Kwok, Engineer, Francisco De Léon and Atef S. Morched
CYME International

CETC Number 2006-070 / 2006-05-01

The purpose of this survey is to assess the use of distributed generation in Canadian distribution systems, modeling tools' adequacy, and the associated need for knowledge and research. More specifically, the objectives of this work are to: characterize Canadian distribution systems; identify the level and types of existing distributed generation (DG); provide a measure of the experience and competency of distribution engineers in handling this technology. The survey, also, aimed at identifying gaps in knowledge, in modeling requirements and in analytical tool necessary to address the interconnection and interoperability of DG with distribution networks.

Out of the 30 questioners sent out, 18 answers were received representing 9 provinces and 2 territories serving over 7 million Canadian customers. Although it cannot be taken as a complete representation of the Canadian industry, there responses supplied very useful information and a good insight into the situation of DG in Canada.

Overall, DG is present in most networks; however with a relatively small penetration. In most cases there seem to exist a degree of uncertainty surrounding the subject of interconnection with the mother network and how to incorporate the relevant issues into the traditional planning and operational approach.

The respondents indicated that technical training aimed at improving their staff capability in conducting analyses relevant to the integration of distributed generation in their systems is necessary in many areas of planning and operation of the distribution system. The most important needs are in the following areas:

  • System operations
  • Protection coordination
  • Safety and maintenance
  • System studies

Areas of software development and enhancements, identified in the responses, include the addition of features to facilitate the analysis of the aspects shown below in a descending order of importance:

  • General distributed generation knowledge
  • Impact of DG on distribution system protection
  • Anti-islanding protection and new technologies
  • Voltage regulation and operation with DG

In general utilities believe that they can adequately conduct steady state analyses but have substantially less expertise in conducting power quality assessment, system dynamics and electromagnetic transient studies necessary for the analysis of interface issues.

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