Why Solar SCADA is Taking Center
Stage in Grid Modernization
As solar PV plus storage begin to proliferate
in states such as California and Hawaii, new
regulations mean that these distributed energy
resources will be able to participate in grid balancing
services in addition to their core purpose.
Sacramento State Solar Decathlon 2015
House Rendering. Soon homes with solar
and storage will be able to provide grid
services. Credit: DOE.
ED NUGENT, Contributor
While solar monitoring is not new, solar supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), with the emphasis
on the “supervisory control” function is much less common today. The SunSpec Alliance — a trade alliance of
more than 100 solar and storage distributed energy industry stakeholders that work to provide information standards to enable “plug & play” system interoperability — has
taken a central role shaping how this functionality is changing the way solar and storage can help frm up the grid.
With hydro- and windpower, it is standard practice to have a SCADA system capable of reacting
to upsets through control
actions to manage equipment for safe operation but
the solar industry has typically not required SCADA. To
date, installations have been
characterized by plants that