Integrating distributed generation into electric power systems: A review of drivers, challenges and opportunities

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João Peças Lopes
J. Mutale
P. Djapic
N. Jenkins
N. Hatziargyriou
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It is now more than a decade since distributed generation (DG) began to excite major interest amongst electric power system planners and operators, energy policy makers and regulators as well as developers. This paper presents an overview of the key issues concerning the integration of distributed generation into electric power systems that are of most interest today. The main drivers behind the focus on DG integration, especially of the renewable type, in many countries around the world are discussed. A synopsis of the main challenges that must be overcome in the process is presented. Particular emphasis is placed on the need to move away from the fit and forget approach of connecting DG to electric power systems to a policy of integrating DG into power system planning and operation through active management of distribution networks and application of other novel concepts. The paper also analyses the repercussions in transmission system operation and expansion that result from the connection of large amounts of DG of different energy conversion systems focusing on issues related with impacts in steady state operation, contingency analysis, protection coordination as well as dynamic behaviour analysis. A discussion on the possibility of provision of ancillary services by DG is also included. Some results from studies performed in the interconnected Portuguese transmission system are presented and discussed. Some of the opportunities that could be exploited in support