A collage of two photos from a workshop showing an audience sitting down with laptops and a speaker and screen.

Progress is being made around the world in deploying grid-forming technology through pilot projects, mandatory and non-mandatory interconnection requirements, and regulatory incentives. To broaden the dialogue about what role grid-forming technology can play on current and future power systems, the G-PST’s Pillar 1 lead organization, ESIG, held a grid forming technology conference in Denver, Colorado during the week of June 6, 2022.

Grid forming batteries were identified as a readily attainable application for grid forming technology. With gigawatts (GWs) of batteries in interconnection queues, there is an emerging need to seize this opportunity to either build them as grid-forming immediately, or future-proof them. There is still no agreement on the best approach to incentivize grid-forming batteries through either market products or interconnection requirements, and it’s likely to be a combination of both.

One major challenge to grid forming technology deployment identified during the workshop is that research institutes and universities cannot keep up with the fast pace at which this industry is changing. They must assume an assisting role, rather than their traditional role of developing research and theory that industry may adopt years later. This challenge extends to the fact that there is also a tremendous shortage of workforce with the necessary skills to manage the quickly changing generation mix.

The conference also included a visit to fellow G-PST core team organization, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and a tour of the laboratory’s Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) grid simulation facility that included basic overviews of wind turbines, PV arrays, CoMet (blade manufacturing), structural testing, dynamometers, controllable grid interface, and integrated energy systems.

Explore the full agenda from ESIG’s grid forming inverters workshop: 2022 Special Topic Workshop: Grid-Forming Inverter-Based Resources