• Integrating Customer-Owned Generation

  • Customer owned generation

    Pepco Holdings supports federal and state regulatory policies that allow timely, efficient and cost-effective integration of renewable generation. To facilitate the interconnection process, we make it a priority to partner with developers, state governments and PJM (our Independent System Operator). Our system is robust and capable of integrating renewable resources in most portions of our service area. Safety, reliability and operability of the system are significant considerations when we develop integration plans.

    Renewable generators, depending on their size and location, can present interconnection challenges. Also complicating the situation is the way the electric system has been designed over the past 100-plus years: to deliver power one way from central generating sources to customers. Now, the electric system is expected to carry electricity in both directions. Power flow can change direction at certain times of the day, depending on whether the customer's home generator is exporting excess electricity back into the utility grid, or the utility is delivering electricity to the customer.

    Also, the power generated by renewables is intermittent, because the sun is not always shining and the wind is not always blowing. As a result, renewables cannot be relied upon to provide a consistent source of electricity. With the growing dependence on electronic devices and expectations for power reliability, this is a challenge. In response, Pepco Holdings has been working to find ways to integrate alternative energy sources in a deliberate, thoughtful and seamless manner, including:

    • Pepco Holdings' Smart Grid program, including advanced metering infrastructure that provides sensor and control capabilities, which will better facilitate the integration of intermittent renewable resources.
    • Pepco Holdings' Green Power Connection team, which has developed processes for efficiently handling the volume of requests from customers across our service territory wanting to connect new systems.
    • Pepco Holdings' System Protection team, which checks to ensure equipment is certified to operate safely and that the installation will not compromise the protections in place on power lines or at substations.
    • Pepco Holdings' Asset Strategy & Planning team, which reviews applications to ensure there will be no adverse operating impact on utility equipment or power quality that could affect other customers.
    • Pepco Holdings' Distribution Engineering team, which checks to ensure the transformer and other distribution equipment at the customer site are the correct size and type.

    In addition to analyzing applications to install local generation, Pepco Holdings' engineering groups are involved in many forward-thinking efforts, such as:

    • Installing data-collection systems that sample detailed electrical data every second to perform in-depth analyses of the impact of large solar systems on the grid, and review the results of deploying solutions.
    • Working with manufacturers, providing input on new features, setting up test sites and implementing advanced features that will reduce high voltage and voltage fluctuations, and provide better grid stability.
    • Developing papers and presentations for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and for many conferences and government agencies, so all stakeholders have a better understanding of the characteristics and grid impact of solar energy.
    • Working with the IEEE Standards Association to develop new standards to accommodate the increasing amount of renewable energy; primarily, the Series of Interconnection Standards, IEEE1547.
    • Developing new techniques to properly forecast load as more renewable resources continue to come on line.

    Pepco Holdings will continue to monitor industry progress in developing renewable integration tools and will implement appropriate measures to maintain and improve the reliability and efficiency of renewable interconnections. As the supply of renewable energy increases, Pepco Holdings' utilities will continue to enhance their infrastructure to support these changes to their distribution systems.