Control unit for joint grid connection of solar and wind power plants

The German photovoltaic company Schoenergie GmbH has developed a control unit for the joint grid connection of wind and solar power plants. The control and protection concept is designed to enable such »combined power plants« to make optimum use of, but not to overload, a grid connection that is actually too small for the total output of both types of power generation.
Schoenergie installed its control unit in April in the »Berg-Esprich 2« combined power plant projected by Baywa r.e. Nine wind turbines with a total of 24 megawatts (MW) have been operating there since 2013. These were joined initially by a solar power plant with ten MW and later by another with 8.8 MW. The existing grid connection capacity of 32 MW did not have to be expanded for this purpose, as the full output of the wind and solar plant is almost never reached. According to Schoenergie, the connection is now used »at almost 100 percent«. Both types of energy are connected to the same cable routes here. Because the wind turbines receive a higher feed-in tariff than the two solar power plants, the latter are automatically regulated down in the – rare – cases of an imminent overload of the grid connection.

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