American Superconductor Corporation announced the launch of its SolarTie Grid Interconnection Solution. The SolarTie solution combines two of AMSC's proven and proprietary technologies - D-VAR® STATCOM solutions and PowerModule™ power converter systems - that are today connecting over 15 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy to the grid. This new offering is a utility-scale grid interconnection system designed specifically for megawatt-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants. By coupling best-in-class power converter capabilities with AMSC's world-renowned dynamic reactive compensation technology, the SolarTie product represents the industry's first fully optimized solution for utility-scale PV power plant developers. The addressable market for SolarTie solutions is expected by industry analysts to be approximately $2 billion by 2015.
With a base rating of 1.4 megawatts (MW) and a turn-on voltage of up to 1,000 volts (VDC), the SolarTie solution is one of the most robust power inverter systems on the market.
In addition, SolarTie customers will benefit from:
The services of AMSC's highly skilled and experienced Network Planning and Applications Group:
- Solar inverters based on AMSC's proven PowerModule™ platform;
- The ability to dynamically control real and reactive power at the Point of Interconnection;
- AMSC's proprietary Smart Grid Interface (SGI) Controller, which directs SolarTie inverters and reactive power elements to provide efficient energy production and precise regulation at the Point Of Interconnection (POI); and
- Easy integration with STATCOMs and/or capacitor and reactor shunt banks for additional reactive support if installed as part of the system.
The market for utility-scale solutions is forecasted for impressive growth. Industry research firm IMS Research expects annual shipments of solar PV inverters to quadruple from approximately 8GW at the end of 2009 to 32GW in 2014. During this period, the utility-scale solar inverter market is expected to grow at a much faster pace than the commercial and residential solar inverter markets.
"AMSC's SolarTie solution offers grid-management support, reactive compensation and grid interconnection, all of which are required by utility-scale PV plant developers," said Ash Sharma, Research Director at IMS Research. "As a result, AMSC's product appears well positioned for this growing market."
Similar to wind farms, solar power plants often must meet requirements in a growing number of countries for dynamic reactive compensation. Employing the same technology as AMSC's proven D-VAR system, which is connecting more than 70 wind farms worldwide to the grid, the SolarTie solution provides instantaneous detection, accurate response and immediate results, ensuring efficient energy production and precise grid management. For example, if a disturbance occurs (voltage sag or swell, passing clouds or other event) the SGI will command the PV plant's SolarTie inverters to provide the needed reactive support to control the voltage at the POI. AMSC's SolarTie solution provides sub-cycle (less than 16 milliseconds) detection and response to grid disturbances while many competing interconnection solutions have response times of 10 to 20 seconds.
"Over the course of the past decade, AMSC has established itself as a leader in the renewable energy market with a wide range of solutions," said AMSC President and Chief Operating Officer Dan McGahn. "In fact, our power technologies are now enabling nearly 10% of the world's wind generated electricity. We are proud to utilize this tremendous experience base to field a highly optimized, high power grid interconnection solution for PV solar power plant developers. AMSC's SolarTie solution sets a new standard for the industry by simplifying implementation, reducing project cost and enhancing plant reliability."
For more information about AMSC's SolarTie solution, please visit AMSC at www.amsc.com/products/solartie.html