Empirical Analysis Of Short-Term Variability From Utility-Scale Solar Farms In North Carolina

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jakob Sjostrand (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Marie Hoepfl

Abstract: The core purpose of this study was to investigate the issue of resource intermittency and variability of solar power at the utility scale. Variability remains a primary driver of increased cost associated with integrating solar into the electric grid, along with the supplementary resources required to maintain its reliability. Using data collected from three individual utility-scale solar farms in North Carolina, this research sought to characterize the variability using irradiance and power data collected at a 15 minute temporal resolution. Additionally, this study explored the effect of geographic dispersion in regards to the “smoothing” of solar variability. This was accomplished by creating an aggregate generation profile for all three sites, and comparing the behavior of this simulated generation to the actual, measured generation at each individual site. . In order to affirm these initial findings, a secondary analysis was performed of these ramp events using AC power (kW). Ultimately the data revealed a significant reduction in these ramp up/down events, with the largest ramp rates reducing by nearly half in most cases. These reductions can be seen most clearly in the comparative frequency distributions of ramp events. Within these distributions there is a clear shifting of ramp events inwards towards the lower magnitude bins.

Additional Information

Sjostrand, J. (2017). "Empirical Analysis Of Short-Term Variability From Utility-Scale Solar Farms In North Carolina." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Photovoltaics, Utility-Scale Solar, Variability, Intermittency, Ramp Rate

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