This report presents static and enhanced hosting capacity analyses on four feeders in Minnesota.

This report, completed by Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS), presents static and enhanced hosting capacity analyses on four feeders in Minnesota. Hosting capacity is the amount of solar that can be added to an electric grid without adversely impacting reliability. The goal was to evaluate the current hosting capacity and assess the potential for higher penetrations of solar.

The enhanced hosting capacity analysis considered four advanced technology strategies to determine their impact on increasing hosting capacity: Smart inverters; Energy storage; Thermal load shifting; Curtailment, and Combined control scenario of all four technologies.

The analysis demonstrated how different advanced technologies can accommodate more PV connections on a distribution network.

SGS’ analysis explored the application of smart inverters, energy storage, thermal load shifting, and curtailment. The report also examined applying a portfolio of the four technologies to further increase the hosting capacity on a particular feeder.

The analysis showed that there is not a “one size fits all” answer to increasing hosting capacity beyond a feeder’s static limit, since each feeder faces different constraints. One advanced technology solution may be particularly good at resolving a particular constraint, but no single solution is capable of resolving every constraint across the board. For some feeders, a combined technology scenario feeders can work to resolve multiple constraints.

In addition to the main report, SGS also undertook a cost analysis to determine the comparative costs of the advanced technologies, helping to define the most cost effective solution for each feeder.

Bill Grant, Deputy Commissioner, MN Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources said: “As Minnesota utilities, businesses and residents increasingly invest in solar energy, it is important to evaluate technology options like smart inverters, energy storage and curtailment that can provide greater grid hosting capacity. We’re pleased that this enhanced hosting capacity study by SGS will advance conversations about how to expand the toolkit of cost-effective solutions to increase the grid’s ability to integrate solar energy in Minnesota.”

MN Solar Pathways

More MN Solar Pathways Reports

Final Technical Report to U.S. Dept. of Energy

This is the final technical report submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy summarizing the efforts and findings of the MN Solar Pathways project.

Report: Solar Potential Analysis – MISO Region

This report attempts to answer the question: How do we achieve 100% renewables across the MISO region while not breaking the bank?


Get in touch with the MN Solar Pathways project leads.

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