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Publication Title | DISTRIBUTED GENERATION 1.0 Distributed Generation Basics

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DISTRIBUTED GENERATION 1.0 Distributed Generation Basics

1.1 What is Distributed Generation?

Distributed generation (or DG) generally refers to small-scale (typically 1 kW – 50 MW) electric power generators that produce electricity at a site close to customers or that are tied to an electric distribution system. Distributed generators include, but are not limited to synchronous generators, induction generators, reciprocating engines, microturbines (combustion turbines that run on high-energy fossil fuels such as oil, propane, natural gas, gasoline or diesel), combustion gas turbines, fuel cells, solar photovoltaics, and wind turbines.

1.2 Applications of Distributed Generating Systems

There are many reasons a customer may choose to install a distributed generator. DG can be used to generate a customer’s entire electricity supply; for peak shaving (generating a portion of a customer’s electricity onsite to reduce the amount of electricity purchased during peak price periods); for standby or emergency generation (as a backup to Wires Owner's power supply); as a green power source (using renewable technology); or for increased reliability. In some remote locations, DG can be less costly as it eliminates the need for expensive construction of distribution and/or transmission lines.

1.3 Benefits of Distributed Generating Systems

Distributed Generation:

Has a lower capital cost because of the small size of the DG (although the

investment cost per kVA of a DG can be much higher than that of a large power


May reduce the need for large infrastructure construction or upgrades because the

DG can be constructed at the load location.

If the DG provides power for local use, it may reduce pressure on distribution and

transmission lines.

With some technologies, produces zero or near-zero pollutant emissions over its

useful life (not taking into consideration pollutant emissions over the entire product lifecycle ie. pollution produced during the manufacturing, or after decommissioning of the DG system).

With some technologies such as solar or wind, it is a form of renewable energy.

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