A California utility will use the GridSense LineIQ solution to measure the impact of photovoltaic (PV)-generated power as it enters the utility grid.

Many states are mandating increases in the percentage of power generated from renewables. California has implemented a law requiring utilities to procure 33% of their electricity from eligible renewable energy sources by 2020, of which solar will comprise a significant part.

As more and more solar comes on-line, however, utilities are grappling with its disruptive effects on the grid. Nonrenewable power sources are relatively constant. They are predictable and rarely impacted by time of day, season or hour-to-hour changes in weather conditions. That is not the case with PVs. PV capacity is different in summer than it is in winter. In volatile weather, it can change significantly on an hour-by-hour or even minute-by-minute basis.

The California utility is using LineIQ monitoring system on distribution lines surrounding PVs to gauge their effect as they feed the grid. Monitoring will focus on fluctuations at different times of day and due to sun and weather conditions. For this application, LineIQ has been programmed to sample every two seconds to ensure a truly high-resolution view of line conditions over time. With its ability to monitor lines up to 138 kV, self-powered design and accommodation of any communications protocol, the unit is uniquely qualified for this type of high-intensity monitoring.

For more information, visit www.gridsense.com.