Project SHIELD was established to address a very specific problem statement for network operators that is caused by the increasing penetration of DER (Distributed Energy Resources) in the LV network (mainly rooftop PV systems) and the resulting impact on the networks. It is in an increasingly uncomfortable position that network operators find themselves in; juggling customer interests (more PV systems with opportunity to export excess PV to the grid) and their own separate KPI’s around safety and quality of supply.
Currently network operators have two modes of response, they either invest in network upgrades or they restrict the installation of new PV systems on a specific part of the network based on static, calculated limits. However, both approaches have been widely criticised by consumers and consumer advocates.
Project SHIELD aims to develop and test a third, low-cost, data-driven approach; by processing data from existing sensors on the LV network, the project team will assess if it is possible to determine, on a network feeder level, if it is safe to allow more DER on that feeder without investing in a network upgrade.
In this context the project team will also determine how much data is needed to have a satisfying degree of confidence around the outcome of that analytical result. In other words, do we have access to enough data today to make safe decisions on DER hosting capacity at feeder level or do we need to invest in new data sources before such a result can be obtained?
The anticipated result of the project is to provide a feasible, affordable and data-driven alternative to static restrictions and default network upgrades when it comes to determining DER hosting capacity and to be able to quantify the resulting economic benefit from increased DER and deferred network augmentation.