CRI's Harry Warren was invited by the Delaware Public Service Commission to deliver a primer on Smart Inverters and share information on the work being done in Maryland to start preparing the state to take advantage of this new type of inverter, which will increasingly be used with solar, or storage, systems installed in homes and businesses.
Smart Inverters have the ability to provide voltage and reactive power (VAR) support on distribution lines, provide two-way communications, can "island" when the electric grid goes down and continue to provide power, and "ride through" (i.e. keep operating) when a change in frequency occurs on the electricity grid and help grid operators avoid cascading a problem further. However, to implement this technology, state commissions will have to make critical decisions to allow the inverters to be smart. Inverters must comply with IEEE 1547, which recently under went a significant rewrite to allow the functions that Smart Inverters can perform. However, contrary to previous standards, this one requires specific decisions to be made to allow, or not, inverters to perform the functions they can.
A copy of Harry Warren's presentation given to the DE PSC can be found here.