Addressing Grid Reliability as Renewable Energy Integration Speeds Up
Wednesday, June 8, 1:30 - 3:00 PM

The trend to connect large-scale wind, solar, battery and other inverter-based resources (IBRs) to the electric power grid is accelerating. The inverters that connect them to the grid operate differently than conventional synchronous machines and have the potential to impact the reliability of the grid especially as the penetration of IBRs increases. However, IBRs have a broader spectrum of programmable options to make the grid work even better. Advances in new capabilities including flexibility and radiality services will be presented along with the new IEEE P2800 standard for connecting to the transmission system. The further evolution of inverters technology – “grid-forming” inverters – has the potential to help transform the current grid into a future “digital” grid and accommodate a substantial increase in clean energy penetration will also be highlighted.

Moderator: Ronald Sinton, Sinton Instruments, USA

Ron Sinton did his PhD work at Stanford University developing 28%-efficient silicon concentrator cells and 23% efficient backside-contact one-sun cells. He then continued this work by adapting the fabrication processes to be more industrial as a founding member of SunPower Corporation. Ron enjoys blurring the boundaries between metrology and device physics in order to report parameters that are key inputs to physical models. He participates in conference program organization, especially the IEEE PVSC (1987-2008) and the annual NREL Silicon Workshop (1994-present). Ron received the Cherry Award at the 2014 IEEE PVSC.

Panelist: Jan Goldschmidt, Philipps-University Marburg, Germany

Jan Christoph Goldschmidt is Professor of the Physics of Solar Energy Conversion at Philipps-University Marburg. He is going to discuss how continued technological learning can keep resource demand for multi-TW photovoltaics within feasible boundaries.

Panelist: Teresa Barnes, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA

Teresa Barnes is the Group Manager for Materials Durability and Reliability at NREL and the Director of the DuraMAT Consortium. Her talk will focus on rapidly and sustainably scaling to TWs of PV.

Panelist: Mahesh Morjaria, Terabase, USA

Mahesh leads the operational technology team at Terabase, delivering SCADA, controls and related solutions for solar and hybrid fuel source systems. Prior to Terabase, Mahesh led utility-scale solar R&D and grid integration at First Solar for nearly a decade. Together with his prior experience at GE, he brings years of advanced technology, engineering, and product expertise in the energy sector. He holds M.S. & Ph.D. degrees in Engineering from Cornell University.

Panelist: Vasilis Fthenakis, Columbia University, USA

Vasilis Fthenakis is the founding director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis at Columbia University and a distinguished scientist emeritus at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). He is the recipient of the 2022 Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit. He will discuss sustainability aspects in pathways towards 100% RE.

Panelist: Nicole Steele, U.S. Department of Energy, USA

Nicole Steele is a nationally recognized leader and expert in clean energy with a focus on frontline communities and workforce development. She has 20 years of experience working with government officials, policymakers, advocates, and entrepreneurs to develop and implement inclusive clean energy policies and programs. She is currently the Senior Advisor on Energy Justice and Workforce for the Solar Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy and the head of the National Community Solar Partnership. She was the founding executive director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, policy director at the Alliance to Save Energy, and ran the EECBG program for Loudoun County Virginia. She started her career in affordable housing, community planning, and politics. She is an AmeriCorps alumni and passionate supporter of community service