EPRI releases open-source communication software for DERs

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released an open-source communication software based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 2030.5 standard for intelligent distributed energy resources (DER). This free software will:

  • help bring DER to the market more quickly and at a lower cost;
  • enable communications between DER and grid operators as per emerging requirements under IEEE 1547 as well as California Electric Rule 21 Interconnection; and
  • enhance the value of these systems and devices for consumers, manufacturers and utilities.

“It’s critical that solar photovoltaic systems, energy storage systems and other DER devices communicate with the grid using standard protocols,” said Ajit Renjit, principal investigator on this project for EPRI. “This open-source software can help enable DER customers, manufacturers and grid operators to maximize the value of interconnected DER and help California and other states reach renewable energy goals.”

In 2015, EPRI proposed developing, certifying and demonstrating an open-source communication software for intelligent DER to address new and emerging interconnection requirements for DER in response to IEEE 1547 together with similar actions underway at California state agencies. With rule development by the California Public Utilities Commission and financial support from the California Energy Commission, EPRI helped create this open-source software in collaboration with industry leaders including California investor-owned utilities. Project participants included the Automation Research Group, Enphase Energy, SunSpec Alliance, QualityLogic and Xanthus Consulting.

“The open-source software from EPRI demonstrated a convenient path to integrating communications, security infrastructure and messaging support for certification requirements during our investigation,” said Raghu Belur, co-founder and chief products officer at Enphase Energy. “The Enphase team was able to quickly test the sample application and software on our software-defined inverter platform and found it to be a strong foundation for developing DER technologies consistent with IEEE 2030.5.”

The software helps enable compliance with the IEEE 2030.5 communications standards for DER as laid out in IEEE 1547 and California Electric Rule 21. California DER installations account for a significant share of the U.S. market, and all new DER in California must comply with California Electric Rule 21 by August 22, 2019.

EPRI posted the software online for public access under the open-source BSD 3-clause license. This software can be freely downloaded to assist with interoperability. This project was funded in part by the California Energy Commission.

News item from EPRI

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