Grid Integration & Plant Controls

Actively Stabilizing the Electricity Grid

Technologies & Capabilities /  Grid Integration
First Solar believes solar energy should be reliable. As a result, we have engineered a proprietary plant control system and incorporated forecasting and energy scheduling capabilities to ensure bulk power reliability and stable grid integration—this functionality is operational today on PV plants that are several-hundred megawatts in size.
  • Dynamic voltage and/or power factor regulation of the solar plant at the point of interconnection (POI)
  • Real power output curtailment of the solar plant when required, so that it does not exceed an operator-specified limit
  • Ramp-rate controls to ensure that the plant output does not ramp up or down faster than a specified ramp-rate limit
  • Frequency control to lower plant output in case of over-frequency situation or increase plant output (if possible) in case of under-frequency
  • Start-up and shut-down control
  • Curtailment mitigation in cases where plant output is constrained but the plant has additional generation capability

Grid Integration White Paper

For more information on First Solar’s grid integration and plant control capability, First Solar has published a white paper with Transmission and Distribution World Online.

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First Solar’s plant control system receives real-time data from the plant Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and analyzes the performance of each inverter. It checks the grid requirements and set points by the grid operator or remote operations center and sends individual instructions to each inverter ten times per second based on its location within the plant, losses, and historical data to ensure the plant adheres to its voltage, frequency, and power output requirements.

A large utility-scale PV plant can be composed of hundreds of inverters, each one being managed by the control system and receiving individual instructions every 100 milliseconds.

First Solar Plant Controller

In cases where the plant output is constrained but the plant has additional generation capability, First Solar’s plant control system can actually reduce the impact of cloud passage and increase overall energy yield.

Technologies & Capabilities

Grid Integration
Grid Integration
Plant Design
Plant Design & Engineering
Project Development
Project Development
Project Finance
Project Finance
Advanced PV Modules
Advanced PV Modules
Balance of Systems
Balance of Systems Technologies
Mounting Systems
Mounting Systems
Construction Management
Procurement & Construction Management
Operations and Maintenance
Operations & Maintenance

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