2017 R&D 100 Award: Estimation of Renewable Energy Generation on the Grid

2017 R&D 100 Award: Estimation of Renewable Energy Generation on the Grid

November 20, 2017

Award Recipient(s) 

Emma Stewart, Ciaran Roberts, Emre Can Kara, and Michaelangelo Tabone


The Distributed Solar Estimation (DiSE) algorithm enables system operators to accurately estimate the electrical generation of customer-owned photovoltaic (PV) resources so they may use that information to operate the grid reliably while reducing ratepayers' costs. These costs are reduced through system operators becoming more informed regarding the behavior of customer-owned PV and consequently allowing them to economically procure resources to mitigate any adverse effects from these stochastic sources of generation. Traditionally, the distribution grid was solely comprised of predictable end users creating relatively predictable demand curves. Power flowed in one direction from a centralized generation plant to the customer in a manner that was well understood. Today, however, the distribution grid's role is evolving as the introduction of customer-owned generation makes it more dynamic. To accommodate that transition and ensure optimal resource management, monitoring and analytics also must evolve. The numerous benefits offered by DiSE help system operators operate the grid reliably without requiring every inverter to communicate its power generation in real time—increasing security and lowering costs. Other proposed solutions require inverters to communicate in real time, and every communication is a point of entry for cyber-attack and an increased burden on the communications backbone.

Distributed Solar Estimation grid