Analysis on the maximum PV penetration levels in Dominican distribution grids

Distribution grid study in the Dominican Republic

The introduction of net metering policies in the Dominican Republic has led to an increasing number of rooftop PV systems. However, restrictive policies, limiting the PV capacity in MV circuits to 15% of peak demand, hinder further PV development.

The aim of the study was therefore to calculate the actual limitations of distribution networks with regard to PV expansion and give recommendations on updated distribution system operator (DSO) planning procedures and regulatory oversight. To this end, a PV distribution system study was conducted on a careful selection of distribution networks, looking at the impact of PV on MV networks, including the potential to increase PV hosting capacity through improved operation principles and technologies, such as enhanced voltage control, reactive power control by PV inverters and battery storage.

Client:
GIZ Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic

Duration:
2020

Voltage issues on a distribution feeder with increasing share of PV penetration levels

Maximum technical penetration levels for PV as well as the current regulatory limit at 15% of a feeder‘s peak demand. Most feeders show significantly higher PV penetration limits as regulated.

Testimonial

“During this project, Energynautics GmbH displayed a great amount of technical expertise in the subject, as well as good time management, abiding by the agreed upon deadlines. They also exhibited great flexibility, working under the strenuous circumstances of the pandemic.

Overall, the GIZ-Caribbean is very pleased with the results and the experience working with Energynautics GmbH, and looks forward to any future opportunity to do so again.”

Daniel Almarza, Asesor Principal, Proyecto Transición Energética, Fomento de Energías Renovables para implementar los Objetivos Climáticos en la República Dominicana

The technical results showed that the hosting capacity is significantly higher in most feeders than the current 15% of peak demand limit. Therefore, technical recommendations with regard to the maximum achievable PV penetration levels in different types of distribution feeders were drafted. Furthermore, regulatory recommendations on the interconnection process and grid code design were drafted, suggesting to replace the current 15% threshold through a hosting capacity process. This way, the maximum allowed PV penetration on a feeder is much closer aligned with the actual technical limitations, which reduces barriers for PV growth while at the same time respecting the distribution system operator’s desire to limit network reinforcement costs.

The investigations were accompanied by multiple online webinars with live interpretation to foster capacity building for distribution system operators and regulators, as well as an outreach workshop for PV developers.

This study was implemented in partnership between GET.transform and the Energy Transition Project, executed by GIZ on behalf of Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

See also:
Online training for Dominican DSOs and Policy Makers
The final report (in Spanish). Feel free to contact us if you are interested in the English report.

Implemented on behalf of: