The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) is leading a team of energy industry leaders working to develop enhanced capability smart inverters and to demonstrate improved operational performance, control and visibility. Validation of performance will be accomplished by deploying and evaluating smart inverters on operating utility distribution feeders in two locations with very high penetration of rooftop photovoltaics (PV): Maui and Washington DC.

This project will demonstrate that these smart grid-enabled inverters can address critical distribution-level barrier issues caused by high penetrations of distributed PV systems.

Hawaii has seen recent rapid growth in PV deployments in which the installed total MW of distributed rooftop PV has roughly doubled year over year across the islands. This rapid growth in residential rooftop PV has resulted in circuit level penetrations well in excess of 100% of daytime minimum load on numerous circuits in Hawaii. Demonstrating that smart grid-enabled inverters can address critical distribution-level barrier issues may enable utilities to approve more residential rooftop PV systems, thereby increasing their potential contribution to the Hawaiian collective renewable energy portfolio.

Point Person: Leon Roose