Selecting an approved smart inverter does not entirely solve the challenges of your Rule 21/IEEE 2030.5 project. In order to be ready now for Rule 21 operations in the future, you must also futureproof your project by specifying a SCADA solution to relay commands between utility management systems and smart inverters in the field. In some cases, inverter manufacturers are providing this functionality in the form of a native CSIP interface. In other cases, the inverter manufacturers plan to utilize third party systems to provide the communications and control functionality, an arrangement known as the “aggregator model.”
The aggregator model provides key advantages for owners and developers along with grid operators and IOUs. The aggregator model enables system operators to manage utility curtailment events and periodic system updates for multiple sites simultaneously rather than managing each device separately. The aggregator model is also the most flexible option to accommodate diverse on-site hardware in larger fleets. In addition, it provides more convenient asset visibility to utilities for quicker, more efficient decision making and proactive grid stability management.
In March 2020 AlsoEnergy received a SunSpec certification to provide CSIP aggregator services for Rule 21/IEEE 2030.5 systems. In order to achieve this, AlsoEnergy’s solutions needed to successfully demonstrate the ability to provide telemetry and SCADA functionality for Rule 21 systems, relaying commands and data between inverters on site and utility DERMS. As a certified aggregator, AlsoEnergy can deliver a Rule 21 Ready solution, allowing your projects to be fully ready for activation and Rule 21 operations in the future.
Rule 21 Ready Solutions from AlsoEnergy
AlsoEnergy solutions that are Rule 21 Ready provide proven telemetry and SCADA functionality utilizing a hardware package including the PowerManager. The PowerManager delivers the full suite of controls required under Rule 21, along with the ability to acquire data for up to 200 devices, configurable down to 1 second. The PowerManager optimizes energy harvest by managing each inverter individually; if one inverter is down or underperforming, others in the fleet will ramp up to compensate (provided there is excess solar resource available). Note that if you are using inverters with integrated native support for CSIP 2030.5 communications and control, your project may not require the PowerManager.
Achieve Compliance Today, Futureproof for Tomorrow
For now, selecting the PowerManager from AlsoEnergy will be the only requirement to ensure your project is Rule 21 Ready. When utilities begin issuing event schedules for your assets, however, you will execute a new transaction with AlsoEnergy to make your projects Rule 21 Operational. The new transaction will include a one-time fee for AlsoEnergy to enroll your assets with the utility DERMS, along with a nominal annual charge covering the costs of Rule 21 operations. This added annual charge reflects our costs to build and maintain the appropriate server resources and to process the additional data, along with staffing to cover our aggregator responsibilities.
Covering your Rule 21/IEEE 2030.5 telemetry and control requirement with a leading solar PV software provider offers additional benefits. PowerTrack will be able to identify and tag all Rule 21 events including power losses related to curtailments. Integrating this information into the PowerTrack platform will enable you to manage utility curtailment events through your normal business processes, including email alerts for Rule 21 events, workflow integrations, and reports that capture Rule 21 events along with additional pertinent information.
In addition to providing Rule 21 Compliant and Ready solutions, AlsoEnergy has been collaborating with several leading inverter manufacturers to develop complete proven solutions for Rule 21 operations.