Speaker Presentation: John W. Gajda

Duke Energy
Manager, Operations Support, Distributed Energy Resources


John Gajda is currently Manager, Operations Support, in the Distributed Energy Resources Department at Duke Energy. John received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1990 and his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from NC State University in 1994. John has worked in various roles in the energy industry, and has been at Progress Energy/Duke Energy since 2001. John’s technical background is primarily in protective relaying and generator interconnections, and in his current role, he is leading an Operations Support team at Duke Energy specific to Distributed Energy Resources. John and his team are busy analyzing and quantifying the impact of high penetration of distributed resources to generation, transmission, and distribution; they are also actively developing many of the technical solutions to mitigate and integrate increasing levels of DER on the power system. Since 2010 John has also been a part-time lecturer at NC State University in their Master’s of Science in Electric Power Systems program.

“Integrating PV in the Carolinas: Planning a Well-Functioning Distribution System with increasingly unplanned amounts of Utility-Scale Generation”


TIME:  3:15 PM – 4:00 PM


Since the first solar generation installations began in North Carolina more than 10 years ago, Duke Energy has been assessing and working to understand the impacts that interconnection of distributed energy resources have on the overall utility system. John will address some of the challenges associated with the rapid increase of solar interconnections in North Carolina, with a particular focus on utility scale solar, which is the currently the most dominant form of renewables in the state and makes North Carolina rather unique in its “story of solar.” John will discuss how the requirements for interconnection are developing and maturing as Duke Energy seeks to effectively integrate these resources onto the grid, and the considerations Duke is taking into account for its future planning. The discussion will address “smart inverters” and energy storage and the potential strengths and weakness of these technologies in accommodating higher and higher penetration levels of solar generation.