About this course

The application of high penetrations of solar PV on utility distribution feeders can create challenges for the distribution organization to supply acceptable voltages on the feeder. As a result, the distribution organization may require voltage issue mitigation measures, including feeder infrastructure improvements, to be performed before additional solar PV capacity can be installed on a feeder. The solar PV developer usually has the responsibility to fund at least part of the improvements.
The following topics are covered in this beginning-level technical course:
  • Overview of a utility distribution feeder and the utility’s responsibility to provide adequate voltage for all customers.
  • Types of voltage issues that can be created by utility-scale solar PV
  • Typical voltage mitigation measures that have been applied
  • A brief description of smart inverters which are now being applied in some states/jurisdictions and have demonstrated a number of capabilities, including voltage regulation and voltage ride-through for system events 
  • Hosting Capacity Analysis, which a number of states are now requiring from utilities. Hosting Capacity Analysis gives an indication of the amount and location of solar PV that can be placed on feeders without violating specific operating constraints on the feeders, including acceptable voltage ranges and deviations.

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Course outline

2 modules • 12 assignments • 1:25 hours of video lectures

Module 1 • 4 assignments
Utility-Scale Solar PV and Distribution Voltage Challenges

  • Welcome - Brittany Heller, HeatSpring (01:43 minutes)
  • Presentation - Tim Taylor, Electrical Distribution Academy (01:03:28 hours)
  • Optional - Download the slides for Tim's presentation (.pdf)
  • Totally optional: iPhone App for taking this class (50 seconds)
Module 2 • 6 assignments
Optional Q&A Discussion

  • Can smart inverters solve for rapid voltage change mitigation? (04:40 minutes)
  • Are there any sources / references of a grounding transformer basic considerations to properly define them? (02:11 minutes)
  • Which 1547 advanced inverter functions are most useful for managing voltage and current on distribution circuits? (07:35 minutes)
  • Do you recommend increasing neutral size in utilities with PV system? (01:57 minutes)
  • Can regulators with more modern electronic control provide better control to avoid excessive single-step operation where there is a bandwidth issue? (02:12 minutes)
  • What type of earthing system you can recommend for pv system setup? (01:17 minutes)


  • Tim Taylor

    Owner and Managing Director, Electric Distribution Academy
    View profile

    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

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
This is a free course. Enroll today and get access to all of the materials instantly. The lecture video and other materials are available any time. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.
How long do I have access to the materials?
For free courses there is no guarantee for how long the course materials will be available.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.
Can I register multiple people?
Yes, this is a free course so you can share this page with other people from your group.


Based on 354 reviews
students have taken this course

Very interesting the contribution of solar energy systems in the electrical distribution networks


Great course. I'd recommend this to anyone working with utilities requiring smart inverter configuration and it also helps explain why certain PV installations, even at smaller than utility scale, require upgrades to the utility.

Shirley Powers

I would highly recommend this to DG developers who do not understand the utilities pushback.

Scott Sousa
Sunation Energy

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