Maximising the potential of solar PV

30 May 2018

Ahead of the Solar Trade Association (STA) annual conference, which is to be held in Glasgow tomorrow - 31 May 2018, Lior Handelsman, Vice President and Founder of SolarEdge has written a blog for the STA spelling out the opportunities for Behind the Meter (BTM) Generation and renewable energy storage. 

When the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was first introduced in 2010/11, solar PV was a great investment, thanks to generous feed in tariff (FiT) rates, bonus payments for energy sold back to the grid and the potential to reduce energy bills. 

Uptake, however, was faster than expected and this inevitably resulted in the government cutting solar PV rates in an effort to control costs. 

Faced with continual cut-backs to Feed-in-tariffs (FiTs), system owners need to find new ways of maximising their investment in solar PV: behind-the-meter (BTM) technology, such as smart inverters and storage, could be the answer. 

Battery Power

Solar power supply is inconsistent: when night falls and the sun disappears, so does the ability to produce power. Excess power produced during the day is either leaked away or sold back to the grid. During the evening and night, system users would typically be utilising power from the grid, which is more expensive than the energy sold. 

Energy storage is the obvious answer, and batteries are now available for solar PV systems that store energy generated during daylight hours for use later on, particularly during the evening when consumption is typically high. This puts the control back in the system owner’s hands and allows them to take a more efficient path for future power consumption. 

To maximise functionality, a quality inverter is essential, controlling where the energy goes: to power loads, stored in a battery, or exported to the grid; as well as whether the battery is charged, idle, or discharged.

Behind the meter generation

To make the most of an energy storage system, it is must be ‘behind the meter’ – installed on the consumer’s side of the electricity meter so that energy produced on site is used to power on site loads, reducing the amount of energy purchased from the utility company. 

Renewable energy storage: the future

Find out more by reading STA Blogs: Opportunities for behind the meter generation and storage, which discusses what could be gained by utility companies working together with the PV industry, PV ‘power stations’ and advanced in communication infrastructure, inverter controls, computing power and smart inverter technology.

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