Protect Your Profit: IEEE 1547-2018 Considerations for Bidding on Wind Projects

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In February 2020, IEEE 1547-2018 was approved across the U.S. by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). Regulations within IEEE 1547-2018 aim to increase the reliability and sustainability of power systems. Many of the guidelines included in the new IEEE requirements resulted from significant changes to renewables, increased energy production by distributed energy resources (DERs) connected to electric power systems (Area EPSs), and their impact on transmission systems.

The passing of IEEE 1547-2018 will significantly impact the commissioning and testing procedures for new wind facilities. Even though managers and operators are not required to implement these changes until their state is prepared to make the IEEE requirement mandatory, they still need to account for financial considerations to ensure profitability and compliance in the future.

What is IEEE 1547-2018?

IEEE 1547-2018 guidelines include DER requirements aimed at maintaining distribution and transmission reliability long-term. However, these revised standards also allow flexibility depending on each distribution system's local needs. DER technologies across the market range in their performance abilities. Treating all DER technologies equally would exclude some from interconnection. IEEE 1547-2018 addresses this by providing a category framework of harmonized interconnection requirements that allow flexibility in performance requirements.

What This Means for the Wind Industry

IEEE 1547-2018 will likely make wind turbine testing and wind farm commissioning more complex. For example, IEEE 1547-2018 includes wind farm requirements for ride-through in many jurisdictions, which is being incorporated in IEEE P2800 as well.

There will also be significant changes for inverter-based systems. In the past, utilities gave inverters a "pass" in low penetration because it did not significantly impact the grid. Some areas are recently experiencing much higher penetration and causing problems for utilities, such as operational issues in distribution systems. The new IEEE requirements aim to combat high penetration by bringing stability to the grid through increased regulations and testing requirements around wind facilities.Tests will vary based on the facility; however, here is a rough overview of changes to commissioning wind projects after IEEE 1547-2018 officially goes into effect:

  • Facilities must accommodate more ride-through and voltage regulation requirements. If there are additional control devices, they will undergo more scrutiny during commissioning.
  • Facilities have the option to test complete systems for compliance rather than the individual inverter box. Multiple inverters and control devices can be tested at once.
  • Inverter-based systems over 250KVA must be field-tested as installed. If there are any changes to firmware or software, it will trigger a retest at the facility.

How IEEE 1547-2018Will Affect Wind Project Bidding

If you're scoping a wind project, you should start considering the ramifications of IEEE 1547-2018 now. With projects being scoped 18-24 months in advance, you are currently bidding on projects that will need to align with the commissioning and wind turbine testing changes outlined in IEEE 1547-2018. Planning ahead and accounting for additional testing for commissioning a wind project will help maintain profitability in the future.

How Comrent Can Help

The experts at Comrent work closely with stakeholders for IEEE 1547-2018 to provide full support to the wind industry. We ensure wind project bids stay in compliance with new testing standards. Our team will work with you to supply a full range of support materials for project and commissioning test planning. We also leverage load bank testing as a cost-effective alternative to type testing, with custom setups that allow for easy field testing.

If you are looking to gain a full understanding of IEEE 1547-2018 and how it will affect your wind project bid, contact us today.

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