Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia to co-host international workshop on photovoltaics integration

Sandia National Laboratories, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and European Distributed Energies Research Laboratories (DERlab) have organized a workshop on utility operating experience with high-penetration levels of solar photovoltaics (PV). The workshop, “Utility Experience with High Penetration PV,” is scheduled Monday, Dec. 3, in Berlin.

The workshop will take place just before the Fifth International Conference on the Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (IRED) Dec. 4-6, in Berlin. The bi-annual IRED conference brings together leading international experts in renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DER) for interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration.

Abraham Ellis, Sandia engineer and IRED conference co-chairman, said the workshop and conference are unique because of their multidisciplinary focus.

“Large-scale integration of renewables and DER is a complex issue that requires the attention and engagement of all stakeholders,” said Ellis.

He said the workshop will examine the experiences of utility operations that generate high percentages of electricity from photovoltaics. The session includes discussions of technical challenges, regulations and technological implications of evolving grid codes.

Ellis said the larger conference brings together experts at the forefront of research, demonstration, policy, market and regulatory issues that challenge the integration of distributed and renewable energy resources into the electric grid. Participants will share the successes and challenges related to deployment of smart grid and renewables in the electric power system, as well as technology and research advances that support the notion of resiliency of the electrical grid and energy infrastructure.

“Sharing the technical expertise, best practices and lessons learned from operating distributed systems under high PV penetration is critical to inform the evolution of technology and accelerate the adoption of appropriate standards and best practices,” said Ellis.

Conference participants also will share research and lessons learned, compare policies and programs and collaboratively investigate potential solutions for technical, market and regulatory barriers to high-penetration DER.

Registration or invitation is required to attend the workshop. Please email Lindsey Rogers at EPRI ( for workshop registration. Visit the IRED website for more information and for conference and workshop registration.

The IRED conference was first held in 2004 in Brussels, Belgium. Subsequent conferences were held in Napa Valley, Calif. (2006); Nice, France (2008); and Albuquerque, N.M. (2010).

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Stephanie Holinka,, (505) 284-9227