Design and Installation
Utility Interconnection

Understanding IEEE 1547-2018 – Interconnection Standard for DER on Distribution

by Tim Taylor • Last updated 03/2023

Course description

The time has arrived to become knowledgeable about IEEE 1547-2018.

In 2023, it is expected that many families/models of smart inverters will be certified by testing laboratories in accordance with UL 1741 SB, the test procedures for IEEE 1547-2018, and will become commercially available. In addition, more states or other authorities which govern interconnection requirements will have either completed the integration of IEEE 1547-2018 into their interconnection rules and agreements or made additional progress in that area.

Scope of Course
This is a technical course, which assumes you have some understanding of distributed energy resources (DER), particularly inverter-based resources (IBR), and utility distribution systems and engineering.

In this four-module course, you get detailed discussion and reference material on IEEE 1547-2018. We cover the background and need for the different requirements, present default and allowable ranges of inverter settings, and discuss how utilities have been integrating the requirements into their interconnection procedures and specifications.

  • Background and context for the creation and approval of IEEE 1547-2018 - IEEE Standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces
  • General interconnection technical specification and performance requirements
  • Reactive power capability and voltage/power control requirements
  • Response to Area EPS abnormal conditions
  • Power quality
  • Islanding
  • DER on distribution secondary grid/area/street (grid) networks and spot networks Interoperability, information exchange, information models, and protocols
  • An overview of IEEE 1547.1-2020 IEEE Standard Conformance Test Procedures for Equipment Interconnecting Distributed Energy Resources with Electric Power Systems and Associated Interfaces
  • A discussion of IEEE 1547.9-2022 IEEE Guide for Using IEEE Std 1547™ for Interconnection of Energy Storage Distributed Energy Resources with Electric Power Systems

What You Get

  • Copy of all course slides
  • Links to online reference materials
  • Access to all video lectures for one year after course
  • Online interaction with course instructor Tim Taylor during the course
  • One downloadable copy of IEEE 1547-2018 (additional fee of $65)
  • NABCEP CEUs (anticipated once course is completely developed)

Who Should Take This Course

  • DER developers, operators, and aggregators
  • DER system engineers, consultants, and EPC’s
  • Utility distribution management, engineers and subject matter experts involved in DER interconnections
  • DER equipment vendors
  • Bulk power system operators and regional reliability coordinators with interest in distribution DERs and their impacts on bulk power systems

The course is technically-oriented with a focus on the connection of inverter-based DER, such as solar PV, to utility distribution systems. It is recommended that attendees have a background in the electric operation of distribution systems and a basic understanding of inverter operation.

Students should have access to a copy of the actual standard, which we can procure for an additional fee of $65.

Why Take This Course
Higher demand for individuals with a working knowledge of IEEE 1547-2018 will occur as higher penetrations of DER are interconnected to distribution systems. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 means that the amount of new utility-scale solar PV is forecast to increase dramatically. The IEEE 1547-2018 requirements being adopted will enable more DER connections while maintaining safe and reliable distribution system operation, balanced with secure and reliable operation of the bulk power system.
Individuals and companies will need to know IEEE 1547-2018 to facilitate interconnection to utility distribution over the coming decade. They will need to know what constrains the application of DER to utility feeders, what it means for inverters to be certified with the new UL 1741 SB that is the companion to IEEE 1547-2018, and what are the default settings and ranges of allowable settings of inverters specified in 1547-2018.

In this course, Tim Taylor, Owner of Electric Distribution Academy, brings his 30+ years of experience in utility distribution systems, utility-scale solar plants, and interconnection requirements to give students the background to succeed in the growing utility-scale solar PV industry.

Tim is readily available through the class discussion board and holds periodic office hours.

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Continuing Education Units

Approved for: NABCEP Advanced Credit Hours, NABCEP JTA, NABCEP RE Elective.

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours
NABCEP Credential Advanced Hours for Exam Recertification CEU Hours NEC JTA RE Elective Building or Fire Code
10 10 0 10 10 0
0 10 0 0 0 0
10 10 0 10 10 0
10 10 0 10 10 0
10 10 0 5 10 0
10 10 0 10 10 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
NABCEP Registered Provider

This course counts towards the training requirements for taking NABCEP professional certification exams and CEUs for renewing all certifications.

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Full course outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
  • Copy of IEEE 1547-2018
  • Next Live Meeting - April 28, 2023 at 12pm Eastern (USA)
  • Course Slides (.pdf)
Module 1 - Background/Context and General Requirements in IEEE 1547-2018

In this module, we cover the factors driving the need to update 1547 in 2018, the major changes from the original publication in 2003, and go through the first three sections in 1547-2018.

  • Course Introduction from Tim (10:23 minutes)
  • Industry Context and Need for IEEE 1547-2018 (11:36 minutes)
  • NERC 2020 Reliability Guideline: Bulk Power System Reliability Perspectives on the Adoption of IEEE 1547-2018 (.pdf)
  • Updating 1547-2003 to 1547-2018 (17:50 minutes)
  • Smart Inverters and IEEE 1547-2018 Adoption (17:38 minutes)
  • Comparison of IEEE 1547-2018 and Other Interconnection Standards (.pdf)
  • Smart Inverter Data Sheet (.pdf)
  • The IEEE 1547 Standard and Clauses 1, 2, and 3 - Part 1 (18:32 minutes) Preview
  • The IEEE 1547 Standard and Clauses 1, 2, and 3 - Part 2 (19:57 minutes)
  • Clause 4 - General interconnection technical specifications and performance requirements - Part 1 (19:16 minutes)
  • Disturbance Performance Terminology (.pdf)
  • Clause 4 - General interconnection technical specifications and performance requirements - Part 2 (23:03 minutes)
  • Read: Summary of Smart Inverters and IEEE 1547-2018 (.pdf)
  • Module 1 Quiz
Module 2 - Voltage/Reactive Power and Response to Abnormal Operating Conditions

In this module we first cover how distribution system operators (referred to as Area EPS Operators in the standard) control voltage and reactive power on the distribution system. We discuss the impacts that DER can have on voltage and reactive power, and how IEEE 1547 requires new installation of DER to have the capability to control voltage and reactive power. We cover the two Normal Operating Performance Categories (A & B) that the standard has defined for voltage/reactive power capabilities, and we discuss the different voltage control capabilities, particularly provided by smart inverters. In the second half of this module, we look at the required response of DER to distribution events, and we look at how higher penetrations of DER such as Solar PV have contributed to abnormal events on the Bulk Power System in the US. We also look at the three Abnormal Operating Performance Categories (I, II, & III) that the standards have defined for DER, and look at key DER concepts such as voltage and frequency ride-through, cease-to-energize, momentary cessation, and frequency-droop.

  • Voltage Control on Utility Distribution (22:13 minutes)
  • Reactive Power and Voltage Control Requirements - Part 1 of 2 (14:43 minutes)
  • Reactive Power and Voltage Control Requirements - Part 2 of 2 (21:58 minutes)
  • Benefits of Smart Inverter Voltage Regulation in Hawaii and California
  • Protection for DER Owners When Volt-Watt Reduces DER Real Power Output
  • Abnormal Operating Conditions - Part 1 of 2 (13:02 minutes)
  • NERC 2020 Reliability Guideline: Bulk Power System Reliability Perspectives on the Adoption of IEEE 1547-2018
  • Abnormal Operating Conditions - Part 2 of 2 (19:42 minutes)
  • Voltage Trip and Ride-Through (22:21 minutes)
  • Frequency Trip, Ride-Through, and Other Requirements (17:16 minutes)
  • Module 2 Quiz
Module 3 - Power Quality, Islanding, Secondary Networks, and Interoperability

In this module, we go through Clauses 6 - 10 of IEEE 1547-2018. In power quality, we look at requirements specifying the limitation of DC injection, voltage fluctuations induced by DER, current distortion, and overvoltage contribution. We look at unintentional islanding and intentional islanding requirements in the standard, before getting into the installation of DER on secondary networks. Lastly, we look at the new and important area of Interoperability requirements as required in 1547.

  • Clause 7 - Power Quality (21:03 minutes)
  • Over-voltages and Grounding (19:23 minutes)
  • Clause 8 - Islanding (16:37 minutes)
  • Anti-Islanding Detection Details (.pdf)
  • Clause 9 - DER on distribution secondary grid/area/street (grid) networks and spot networks (19:47 minutes)
  • Xcel Energy Requirements for Connecting DER to Secondary Networks (.pdf)
  • DER on Spot Network - Colorado Convention Case Study (.pdf)
  • Clause 10 - Interoperability, information exchange, information models, and protocol (24:27 minutes)
  • Module 3 Quiz
Module 4 - Verification and Testing, IEEE 1547.1, Inverter Settings, IEEE 1547.9

We wrap up our course at look at verification/testing requirements and recommendations contained in the parent IEEE 1547-2018 standard and the IEEE 1547.1-2020 standard. We take a look at the process of how inverter settings are actually established now as authorities have made IEEE 1547-2018 mandatory in their jurisdictions. Finally, we look at the guide IEEE-1547.9, with helpful hints and recommendations for energy storage on distribution.

  • Clause 11 - Test and Verification Requirements (21:19 minutes)
  • Inverter Certification for UL 1741 3rd Edition, IEEE 1547-2018, IEEE 1547.1-2020 (.pdf)
  • IEEE 1547.1 - IEEE Standard Conformance Test Procedures for Equipment Interconnecting Distributed Energy Resources with Electric Power Systems and Associated Interfaces (15:26 minutes)
  • Settings for IEEE 1547-2018 Functionality (12:58 minutes)
  • Inverter Settings (.pdf)
  • Read: Testing of Advanced Inverters (.pdf)
  • Inverter Settings Example - NE Utility Required Profile (.pdf)
  • National Grid Inverter Settings - January 1, 2023 (.pdf)
  • Hawaiian Electric Utility Required Profile (.xlsx)
  • Configuring an Inverter with a Settings Profile
  • IEEE 1547.9 - IEEE Guide for Using IEEE Std 1547™ for Interconnection of Energy Storage Distributed Energy Resources with Electric Power Systems (29:42 minutes)
  • Optional: Availability of Inverters Conforming to IEEE 1547-2018 and UL 1741 SB (3rd Edition)
  • Optional: IREC's Decision Options Matrix for IEEE 1547-2018 Adoption
  • Module 4 Quiz
  • NY State Utilities - Summary of Inverter Settings UL 1741 SB Jan. 2023
Conclusion - Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate
  • IEEE 1547-2018 References (.pdf)


Tim Taylor

Owner and Managing Director, Electric Distribution Academy

Tim is Owner and Managing Director of Electric Distribution Academy and has over 30 years of experience in distribution system engineering. He’s led and participated in many projects with many North American utilities and has also worked in Europe and Latin American. In addition to papers, articles, and conference presentations, he has served as an instructor for... Learn more


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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 4 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.

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Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.

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