How Distributed Generation is Changing Grid Design

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Distributed generation resources takes a giant step forward

BY KEN GEISLER, Siemens

For the majority of its existence, the electrical grid has been powered with large, remote “centralized” generation. Centralized power plants often need to reach substations serving load centers that may be hundreds of miles away from the point of generation. The electrical grid as we know it today was originally designed to move this power in one direction; from the large, centralized power plants, through a highly interconnected transmission network and a mainly radial distribution system, to the consumer. However, a number of factors are now enabling significant modifications to this model, in large part driven by the availability of distributed generation resources that provide both challenges (to the existing grid designs) and opportunities (for efficiencies and greater resilience).

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