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Title: The UK solar farm fleet: A challenge for the national grid?
Authors: Palmer, Diane
Koubli, Eleni
Betts, Thomas R.
Gottschalg, Ralph
Keywords: Solar farm
National grid stability
Solar resource assessment
Solar mapping
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © the Authors. Published by MDPI AG
Citation: PALMER, D. ...et al., 2017. The UK solar farm fleet: A challenge for the national grid? Energies, 10(8): 1220.
Abstract: Currently, in the UK, it is widely believed that supply from renewable energy sources is capable of reaching proportions too great for the transmission system. This research investigates this topic objectively by offering an understanding of year-to-year and area-to-area variability of PV (photovoltaic) performance, measured in terms of specific yield (kWh/kWp). The dataset is created using publicly available data that gives an indication of impact on the grid. The daily and seasonal variance is determined, demonstrating a surprisingly good energy yield in April (second only to August). The geographic divergence of generation from large scale solar systems is studied for various sized regions. Generation is compared to demand. Timing of output is analyzed and probability of achieving peak output ascertained. Output and demand are not well matched, as regards location. Nevertheless, the existing grid infrastructure is shown to have sufficient capacity to handle electricity flow from large scale PV. Full nameplate capacity is never reached by the examples studied. Although little information is available about oversizing of array-to-inverter ratios, this is considered unlikely to be a major contributor to grid instability. It is determined that output from UK solar farms currently presents scant danger to grid stability.
Description: This is an Open Access Article. It is published by MDPI under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Sponsor: This work was started as part of the research project “PV2025—Potential Costs and Benefits of Photovoltaic for UK Infrastructure and Society” project which is funded by the RCUK’s Energy Programme (contract No.: EP/K02227X/1). It was continued under ‘Joint UK-India Clean Energy Centre (JUICE)’, funded by the RCUK's Energy Programme (contract no: EP/P003605/1).
Version: Published
DOI: 10.3390/en10081220
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26255
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/en10081220
ISSN: 1996-1073
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)

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