Advanced Energy’s Transmission IBR Commissioning Services

With rising levels of renewable energy installations, it’s more critical than ever to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system, and transmission-connected inverter-based resource (IBR) facilities, such as solar, wind and battery energy storage systems, are of particular concern.

After several years commissioning distribution-connected distributed energy resources — at more than 300 sites totaling over 1.2 gigawatts with 15 different electric utilities — Advanced Energy’s renewables team began to expand into transmission-connected IBRs. Our work in this space covers standards engagement, process development and on-site commissioning, all in support of our goal of protecting the reliability of the bulk electric system by ensuring the reliable operation of interconnected generating facilities.

Our extensive field experience, deep industry knowledge and relationships with utilities — we’re frequently seen as an extension of their technical teams — have enabled us to develop and implement transmission commissioning processes and IBR requirements using NERC reliability guidelines, IEEE 2800 and overall commissioning best practices. IEEE 2800, published in 2022, is a new interconnection standard for large-scale solar, wind and energy storage. We’ve put these processes into practice at a dozen transmission IBR sites to date that are at various stages of commissioning.

Our commissioning site visits have revealed a number of common issues, including ones related to:

We’ve also partnered with utilities to review and update existing interconnection requirements and commissioning processes, providing direction on how to implement IEEE 2800 and benchmarking against other utilities and NERC guidance.

We recognize that this field is rapidly evolving, so we stay up to date by maintaining our expertise and contributing to the industry. We participate in IEEE 2800 working groups and workshops offered by other organizations, and have our eyes on technologies and trends that might soon impact this arena, including grid-forming inverters, the U.S. Department of Energy’s UNIFI Consortium, facilities with black-start capabilities and real-time digital simulator (RTDS) modeling.

It is essential that utilities perform their due diligence when it comes to ensuring bulk electric system reliability, particularly as IBRs grow. Input and advice from experienced independent commissioning experts on what to do — and what not to do — can help provide assurance that a transmission provider has been truly diligent in protecting reliability alongside the expansion of renewable generation.