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Voltage-source inverter (VSI) topology is widely used for grid interfacing of distributed generation (DG) systems. However, when employed as the power conditioning unit in photovoltaic (PV) systems, VSI normally requires another power electronic converter stage to step up the voltage, thus adding to the cost and complexity of the system. To make the proliferation of grid-connected PV systems a successful business option, the cost, performance, and life expectancy of the power electronic interface need to be improved. The current-source inverter (CSI) offers advantages over VSI in terms of inherent boosting and short-circuit protection capabilities, direct output current controllability, and ac-side simpler filter structure. Research on CSI-based DG is still in its infancy. This paper focuses on modeling, control, and steady-state and transient performances of a PV system based on CSI. It also performs a comparative performance evaluation of VSI-based and CSI-based PV systems under transient and fault conditions. Analytical expectations are verified using simulations in the Power System Computer Aided Design/Electromagnetic Transient Including DC (PSCAD/EMTDC) environment, based on a detailed system model.