According to a study by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), the effects of the solar eclipse on 20 March 2015 will be manageable in Germany even on a day with clear skies.
Fraunhofer ISE sums up the main results as follows (cf. page 3 of the study):
- On a clear day the solar eclipse on 20 March 2015 can lead to PV power gradients being 2.5 times higher than regular gradients on a 15-minute basis.
- The conventional power plant fleet is generally technically equipped to balance the gradients occurring during the eclipse. Wind power plants and large PV installations are technically prepared to reduce output and can thus help maintain system stability.
- Computer modeling of the grid (Netzsimulation) shows that no problems are to be expected on the low and medium voltage level.
- Transmission system operators have to pay greater attention when planning redispatch measure on the day before. Based on weather forecasts the expected PV input can be taken into consideration.
In central Germany (Kassel), the solar eclipse will start at 9:33 CET and will be over by 11:52 CET. With 50% of the infeed reduction in Europe expected to occur in Germany according to an impact analysis by ENTSOE, Germany is the country most affected by the eclipse. According to ENTSOE, the assumed installed capacity PV capacity in Germany amounts to 39,734 MW (for PV capacity eligible for financial support under the Renewable Energy Sources Act, EEG, please see here). During the eclipse a possible power supply reduction by more that 400 MW per minute could occur that persists for half an hour, ENTSOE said. The gradient is even steeper when the sun returns, at more than +700 MW/minute. Given these figures a cloudy day might be the thing to wish for. Otherwise the Fraunhofer study will be put to the test.
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