Advanced Grid Power Electronics for High Penetration PV Integration 2014

by Ben Kellison

Penetration of distributed solar is set to increase by over 300% in the United States over the next four years, straining existing distribution infrastructure at the local level in at least thirteen states. Secondary distribution grid control equipment, including power electronics-based solutions, represents the best and increasingly most cost-effective technical solution to these problems. GTM Research expects the market for these devices to grow tenfold over the next five years alone.

Secondary distribution control equipment addresses the localized grid stability issues that will continue to impact distribution grids in the near-term as distributed solar penetration continues to grow. Wider deployment of these solutions could drastically improve the way power is distributed while simultaneously increasing operational flexibility. Secondary power electronics provide grid operators with the hardware to provide myriad other benefits including expanded distribution grid efficiency through conservation voltage reduction, enhanced control over power quality, and improved situational awareness.

FIGURE: Comparison of Distribution Technologies Benefits Comparison

Note: Full chart data available in report

Source: GTM Research

Cost-effective deployment and integration of these solutions into existing distribution grid control architectures will benefit from leading utility efforts to enhance planning and simulation software. This will enable utilities to better direct limited capital budgets to purchase and install the right solution in the most critical locations.

The report contains:

  • In-depth analysis of utility challenges created by high penetration distributed PV
  • Value propositions for various distribution power electronics systems
  • Competitive analysis of vendor solutions
  • Descriptions of key markets, details on historical deployments
  • Venture capital and financing activity in the sector
  • Market forecasting and identification of opportunity by state

Competitive analysis of vendors including:

ABB | Battelle | EDD | ETAP | GridBridge | Gridco Systems | GRIDiant | Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen | MicroPlanet | One-Cycle Control | Siemens | Tyree | Varentec

Utility case studies including:

Adams-Colombia Electric Cooperative | EnBW | Ergon Energy | RWE | San Diego Gas & Electric


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Ben Kellison Director, Grid Research

Ben is the Director of Grid Research for GTM Research, specializing in Distribution Automation, Network Management and Renewables Integration markets.

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