Clean Energy Technical Standards

As more Americans seek to adopt clean energy technologies—such as solar, wind, energy storage, and electric vehicles—in their homes, businesses, and communities, these technologies must be interconnected with the electric distribution system while maintaining grid safety and reliability. Clean energy technical standards help ensure that distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar and battery storage, can work effectively on the electric grid.

The recently adopted Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers 1547-2018 Standard (IEEE 1547-2018) establishes a nationally applicable standard that will transform how DERs function on the electric distribution system. It requires all grid-connected DERs to have the capability of providing an array of grid support, communications, and control functionalities. The IEEE 1547-2018 standard will facilitate the rollout of smart inverters capable of addressing the challenges of high DER penetration, peak demand concerns, and the potential impacts of DERs on grid safety and reliability.

The vast majority of states are just beginning to integrate IEEE 1547-2018 into their interconnection rules, which require a high degree of technical expertise. Because the standards don’t specify a single “default” set of DER settings, regulators must choose different options. IREC serves as a trusted independent leader, providing education, regulatory guidance, and support for state consideration and adoption of IEEE 1547-2018 and other standards. 

IEEE 1547™-2018 Adoption Tracker

IREC’s IEEE 1547™-2018 Adoption Tracker is intended to be a resource for Public Utilities Commissions, utility personnel, and other DER stakeholders interested in reviewing the standard’s adoption status across states and regional transmission organizations in the U.S. and Canada.

The Adoption Tracker focuses on whether a particular entity has selected an adoption date by which certified inverters (UL1741.SB) are required in new application submissions. It compiles references from decision-making entities related to their efforts to adopt the IEEE 1547-2018 standard. The tracker also includes inverter performance criteria, if selected and made public by a particular region or state entity. To learn more about the standard or the selection criteria, please review IREC’s Making the Grid Smarter report and Decision Options Matrix for IEEE 1547-2018 Adoption.  

Decision Options Matrix for IEEE 1547-2018 Adoption

IREC’s Decision Options Matrix is intended to be a resource for Public Utilities Commissions, utility personnel, and other distributed energy resource (DER) stakeholders interested in adopting and implementing IEEE 1547-2018 in their jurisdictions. The matrix includes a list of Decision Options (DOs) that stakeholders should consider before implementing the updated standard. The DOs provide step-by-step guidance on incorporating the updated standard into interconnection rules and procedures. The matrix translates technical content within the standard, as well as related issues, into easily digestible decisions that impact DER interconnection reviews and operations (e.g., timeline, voltage regulation, interoperability). The matrix includes over fifty distinct decisions, organized into near-term, mid-term, and long-term categories.

Making the Grid Smarter: Primer on Adopting the New IEEE Standard 1547-2018

This IREC report provides an overview and explanation of the major revisions in IEEE Standard 1547™-2018 and the key issues for states to consider.

Customer Grid Edge Committee 

IREC hosts Customer Grid Edge (CGE), a committee of experts that seeks to improve interoperability between energy service providers and customer-sited equipment, including renewable energy, energy storage, and microgrids.

CGE was founded in 2008 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) and the GridWise® Architecture Council (appointed by the U.S. Department of Energy) to address issues at the interface between smart grids and customers. CGE specializes in smart grids and energy management for appliances and electric vehicles, with a focus on customer- and community-sited renewable energy and energy storage. It has been active in proposing U.S. and international electric grid standards and developing educational resources for residential and commercial grid customers.

IREC provides an institutional home for CGE, facilitating its monthly meetings and providing strategic and logistical support for its activities. CGE helps keep IREC apprised of emerging issues related to customer-sited clean energy and smart grid technologies.

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