Ordinance on Grid System Stability Requiring Retrofitting of PV Plants Entered Into Force

On 20 July the System Stability Ordinance entered into force. Under the new Ordinance operators of distribution grids have to retrofit photovoltaic plants within three years by specialised firms to minimise the 50.2 Hertz problem.

This obligation applies to all photovoltaic plants connected to the low voltage electricity network

  • with an installed capacity of more than 10 kW which were were put into operation between 31 August 2005 and 1 January 2012.
  • with an installed capacity of more than 10 kW which were were put into operation between 30 April 2001 and 1 January 2012.

For photovoltaic plants connected to the medium voltage electricity network the obligation to update the solar plants applies if they have an installed capacity of more than 30 kW and were commissioned between 30 April 2001 and 1 January 2009.

The purpose of this Ordinance is to avoid risks for the security of power supply based on fluctuations of voltage. Older photovoltaic plants disconnect immediately from the grid if the frequency of 50,2 Hertz is exceeded. This leads to risks for the operation of the network. In a worst case scenario – if the limit of 50.2 Hz is exceed at a point in time with high feed-in of solar energy – this effect can lead to shutdown of several gigawatts. The resulting sudden power variation may be significantly higher than the primary control power defined Europe-wide, so that power frequency control can no longer stabilize the mains frequency.

Sources: BDEW, Bundesgesetzblatt

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