IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - March/April 2017 - 96

in my view

Colton Ching

adapting to change
Hawai'i's response to alternative energy sources

C

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2016.2640440
Date of publication: 1 March 2017

96

ieee power & energy magazine

Installed Cumulative Distributed PV (MW)
435
389

301

180

171

79

2014

2015
Largest
Generator

Year

2013

2012

2011

40

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

24
1.8 2.4 4.7 12
2005

CUSTOMER INTEREST IN SOLAR
photovoltaic (PV) and other distributed
energy resources (DERs) is growing
significantly. This trend is driven by falling PV costs, state and federal subsidies, and supportive renewable energy
policies.
One of the ways utilities can adapt to
this new model of customer energy production is to develop a network of DER
assets that maximizes the utilization of
customer investments by identifying
mutual benefits with supportive grid
services. Industry collaboration and
innovation can solve interconnection
challenges and increase value for customers who adopt DER technologies.
At the Hawaiian Electric Companies, PV installations quadrupled in
four years, and, today, 15% of customers have solar on their rooftops. In total, as shown in Figure 1, rooftop PV
systems significantly exceeds the largest single generator on the system, and
that has a substantial impact on planning for reliability. It's an understatement to say that interconnecting nearly
79,000 rooftop systems has presented
numerous challenges.
We are well on our way to meeting
the state's goal of generating 100% of
electricity from renewable sources by
2045. By the end of 2015, the Hawaiian
Electric Companies achieved a renewable portfolio standard of 23%, with
rooftop PVs accounting for 30% of the
portfolio. This rooftop PV growth has

figure 1. The Hawaiian Electric Companies' cumulative distributed PV growth
by year, 2005-2015, as compared to the largest synchronous generator on the
Hawaiian Electric power system.

laid the foundation for a diverse set of
DERs, including energy storage, electric vehicles (and charging infrastructure), demand response, and distributed
generators to play a prominent role in
achieving 100% renewable energy.
However, to sustain its growth,
DERs must yield net positive benefits
when assessing operational challenges
and impacts. For example, customersited DERs can contribute to stabilizing the bulk power system of an island
grid with high penetration of intermittent resources.
1540-7977/17©2017IEEE

In Hawai'i, each island's grid is separate, with no interconnection to other
grids; consequently, each island's grid
is sensitive to bulk system disturbances.
Consider the case illustrated in Figure 2.
This plot represents the actual measured
system frequency when the largest generator on the island of Oahu trips offline.
Previously, the higher levels of thermal
generation dispatched to serve the daytime load provided sufficient inertial
response to arrest the frequency during
(continued on p. 93)
march/april 2017



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