Power Electronics participates in the first night-time grid support service from a solar plant in the UK

28 November, 2019

  • The project powered by Lightsource BP used Power Electronics solar inverters for the successful coordinated test with UK Power Networks.
  • The initiative aims to save UK energy consumers more than £ 400 million by 2050.

Power Electronics participated last November 4 in the test of the St Francis solar plant in East Sussex, driven by one of the world’s leading companies in the development and long-term management of solar projects named Lightsource BP. The test is part of the “Power Potential” project led by National Grid ESO and UK Power Networks, and aims to create a new reactive power market for distributed energy resources in the southeast of the United Kingdom.

During the day, solar inverters convert the DC energy generated by solar panels into AC power, which can be used in a commercial power grid. Since solar inverters are not used at night to generate active power, it is possible to use the equipment to provide different support services to the grid, thus maximizing the service and benefit of photovoltaic plants. In this case, Power Electronics the leading manufacturer in the United Kingdom with more than 2.5 GW installed, worked with Lightsource BP to configure the solar inverters of the St Francis plant to provide reactive power at night, maintaining voltage levels of the grid within the values ​​established by the grid operator.

The Operations Director of Lightsource BP said that after the success of the test they have shown that solar plants can play a more important role in the power grid, even at night.

The launch of this project, which is scheduled for next January, aims to save UK consumers more than £ 400 million in 2050 and provide up to an additional 4GW of energy capacity in the southeast of the country.

Photography: Lightsource BP

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