Forecasting for better solar energy integration



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POWER GRID MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

The mass integration of solar energy in the power grids poses new challenges for the dispatchers who are responsible for the production-consumption balance.

To meet these challenges, they need to know the level of photovoltaic production for the days to come for a country and its regions and anticipate the risks of production drops for that day.

The end challenge is to optimise the reserves and to make better use of the transport and interconnection capacities.

The solution implemented in several European countries uses our technological building bricks SteadyMet (forecasts based on meteorological models) and SteadySat (forecasts using satellite images), with, each time, the specificities linked to our customers’ operational and regulatory requirements (a greater or lesser degree of aggregation, levels of uncertainty, time horizon, etc).

Micro Grid / Distributed PV

Today, it is essential to facilitate the integration of the photovoltaic productions without any risk for the distribution network of electricity. SteadyEye generates solar generation forecasts for a set of small rooftop installations.

A full scale experiment led in Lyon (France) by ERDF

The experiment led since mid-2015 includes over 300 PV installations in the urban district of Lyon (France). Two SW-02 sky-imagers continuously scrutinize the sky over 360°. The software of STEADYSUN analyzes then the cloud motions and, then, anticipates any variations of the PV production for the next 30 minutes to come. Each of the two SW-02 sky-imagers are covering a 10 km² area. In parallel, the Linky smart-meters installed by ERDF feed back the production measurement of each plant. Once aggregated, the measures are taken into account in the whole forecasting process and significantly contribute to improve the forecast accuracy.

 

Insular Grid

These small electrical systems are not benefiting from interconnection with a continental electricity grid, or in a limited way only. They face a specific situation where all of the electricity needed must be produced locally. The production costs of the fossil production sources are quite high. The solar energy is a profitable alternative but its massive introduction causes an instability of the system even when associated with storage solutions and fuel generators.

 

Insular or non-interconnected grids are extremely sensitive to the hazards and fluctuations of solar production. They often have to cope with rapid decreases in PV production. If production planning does not rapidly compensate for these fluctuations, they may result in serious instabilities and black-outs.

Our solution focuses on detecting and anticipating this type of high-risk situation.

It is based on the use of satellite images (SteadySat technology) or images taken from the ground (SteadyEye technology) and is adapted to a region’s climatic and energy specificities.

We have successfully deployed insular solutions in places where the PV production penetration rates can sometimes exceed 30% of the consumption.