PV plant supplying grid supplementary services in Chile

Aug 21, 2020 01:45 PM ET
  • Chile's National Electric Coordinator has actually approved authorization for a brand-new First Solar PV project to supply supporting grid services on a commercial basis. The setup has actually done much better than gas generator innovations.
PV plant supplying grid supplementary services in Chile
Image: SMA / First Solar

US thin-film PV module maker and project designer First Solar said that its 141 MW Luz del Norte solar plant in Chile is the very first large-scale PV installation to offer industrial ancillary grid solutions in the world.

The National Electric Coordinator just recently included Luz del Norte to its profile of large-scale generators that are accredited to provide a variety of grid services, consisting of automatic generation control (AGC).

The center, located in the Atacama Desert near Copiapó, is now used to take care of the regularity of the nation's electric system, which helps to assure the reliability as well as security of the grid.

According to First Solar, the plant has actually undergone a substantial audit by the National Electrical Coordinator, Laborelec Latam, and First Solar. Previously, grid operators around the world have needed to rely exclusively on thermoelectric or hydroelectric plants to reply to fill adjustments and balance generation.

The California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and First Solar first examined the grid's abilities as part of a demonstration project in 2016. The research study analyzed the capability of a First Solar-designed power plant to provide AGC, key frequency control, ramp speed control, and also voltage law. The PV plant was found to execute much better than gas turbine innovations, which are typically made use of by grid operators to reply to load adjustments.

"We are extremely pleased with this success as this increases the spectrum of modern technologies with the ability of supplying the necessary solutions to maintain a secure and also trusted procedure of the electric system," stated Carlos Barria, an official from the Ministry of Energy.

Released in 2016, Luz del Norte is among the largest solar plants in Chile. It includes thin-film PV modules from First Solar and inverters from German supplier SMA.

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