Skytron® Energy Masters Challenging Grid Integration of Mauritius' 15.2MW PV Plant

Published June 17th 2014 at 1:56pm
Skytron® Energy 
June 13, 2014 - Skytron energy has successfully commissioned its park controller in the 15.2MW photovoltaic plant near Bambous, in the western Rivière Noire District of Mauritius, in line with the country's demanding grid connection requirements.

Mauritius' first grid-connected solar plant feeds into the country's 66kV grid and meets all the challenges that an island grid with its inherent imbalances typically entails. To this end, skycontrol - the heart of skytron energy's power management system – executes a highly flexible control scheme. On the one hand, automatic, pre-programmed control functions provide active and reactive power capping; maximum ramp rate; frequency control based on power shifting; voltage stabilisation; and reactive power setpoint control. Manual adjustment of grid feed parameters, on the other hand, has been made possible by RICC - skytron energy’s Remote Interface Control Center. This user interface has been developed especially to meet the country's method of grid control and stabilisation: the control command messages are relayed by CEB, Mauritius' Central Electricity Board, and the plant operator must respond immediately by manually entering the new setpoints for active and reactive power, power factor, ramp rate and by selecting pre-defined control curves applicable at that moment. The connection to the plant and the skycontrol controller is established directly via the local plant intranet or remotely by way of a secure VPN link.

Another important criterion for efficient demand driven power feed into the island grid of Mauritius is the knowledge of how much power can be generated and made available by the solar plant. Weather-model based production forecasts, updated several times a day, supplying estimates of hourly production for up to 5.5 days into the future are provided by the PVGuard performance analysis tool. This SCADA platform is part of skytron energy's real-time monitoring and supervision system installed in the Bambous plant. It is not only the plant operator's daily tool for remote alarm diagnostics; it also offers all the functions necessary for reporting and long-term performance analysis.

Plant performance and all live data can also be viewed directly at the plant. This is ensured by skytron energy's on-site server skyserv LM which gives the operator instant access to actual values of all plant data at 1 minute resolution as well as selected power data such as active, reactive and apparent power, frequency, current and power factor at one second intervals measured at the grid connection point.

"Mauritius has a great solar outlook with a potential average radiation yield of some 6 kWh/m2 every day. The country has ambitious plans to reduce its dependence on imported petroleum products and encourages the advancement of solar power generation. With this first ground-mounted plant we have proved to the country's electricity authority that renewable energy enhances grid stability", confirms André Pohl, CEO of Tauber Solar Energietechnik GmbH, the project developer, who worked in partnership with Conecon GmbH. "With skytron energy we have found a highly competent partner whose expertise in flexibly adjusting their control system to local grid requirements has helped tremendously to integrate this first solar plant into the island's electricity grid."

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