The system analysis efforts within the Systems Integration subprogram focus on two areas:
Technical modeling, simulation, and analysis
Economic modeling and policy analysis.
System analysis of renewable energy focuses on analyzing the technical, economic, and policy aspects of the impacts of high levels of renewables on the power grid. Within the Systems Integration subprogram, these analytical activities include developing scenarios of photovoltaics (PV) in the electrical distribution system, identifying barriers to these scenarios, and providing solutions to enable higher levels of renewables, primarily distributed, to connect with the grid.
Distributed energy generation is the production of energy close to where it will be used. In contrast, central generation supplies power to locations much further away.
The present electric grid, built decades ago, was based on a centralized generation approach. As a result, the grid is unable to handle many distributed renewable energy systems. Modeling and simulation tools are used to closely replicate how PV systems and components interact with the grid. These types of analysis enable the research and development of equipment hardware.