State and federal legislation and increased residential and commercial customer interest in renewable resources, energy reliability, and sustainability continue to put pressure on utilities to allow a greater penetration of distributed generation into their systems.

Investigation continues into the possibilities of employing microgrids and dynamic islanding concepts to potentially increase system reliability, threatening to exact a paradigm shift in the way distribution systems are operated, maintained, and constructed. Engineers are left with the challenges of meeting these demands with infrastructure that was not designed for such a purpose.

Development of technical standards of practice and contractual/market related standards as well as deployment of greater numbers of intelligent electronic devices on utility distribution systems continue to aid engineers, but are works in progress. Utilities are left with the decision on how far to go with significant changes in policies and practices while staying in position to deal with future market and technology developments.

The Microgrids, Islanding and Distributed Generation panel session will provide case studies of practical implementations, research topics, and the latest updates on standards and the regulatory outlook. The session will be on Thursday, May 10. Questions and discussion are encouraged.

Speakers include: