The "DER Integration system" is a system that, combining various technological measures, increases hosting capacity for distributed generation and ensures operation security, allowing for voltage and power flow control in a smart grid architecture.
DER stands for “Distributed Energy Resources”, which are small power plants connected to distribution networks that provide the power necessary to meet regular demand. As the electricity grid continues to modernise, DER as well as energy storage systems and advanced renewable technologies can help facilitate the transition to a smarter grid. Enel’s “DER Integration System” is a complete (hardware/software), broadband-communication-based solution for real-time control of distributed generation in medium voltage networks.
Benefits of the system include increased network hosting capacity, improved operational security (anti-islanding, production forecasting), reduction in the duration and number of interruptions, voltage and power flow control as well as the capability to dispatch renewable-based power plants.
The system has been tested in the field in the pilot projects “POI-P3” in the south of Italy and in Isernia (center of Italy). By now the developments have been completed and the solution has been found to be scalable and in principle applicable to diverse types of networks. However, it is also expensive and only standardisation and wide deployment can reduce the costs. As a consequence, Enel is applying the system on a larger scale (200 primary substations, 8000 secondary substations, 100 producers) in the project “Puglia Active Network”.
Enel Distribuzione S.p.A. is a Distribution System Operator (DSO) and a subsidiary of the ENEL Group, Italy's largest power company and ranked the second largest utility in Europe by installed capacity. The company provides power distribution services to households and business consumers and also runs research and development activities with the aim to improve supply services to consumers.