PV variability and grid integration study

Tackle solar intermittency with smart planning

Power production from PV power plants is intermittent in nature because of variability in cloud cover.

The intermittent nature of PV power can introduce serious challenges in grid operation/management when large capacities of photovoltaics are integrated with the grid in a given region. However, with proper planning, optimal sizing and spatial distribution of PV power plants, the impact of large amount of intermittent power can be mitigated.

The objective of a solar grid integration study is to help transmission planners, utility planners, and research organisations to understand variability in solar power production for hypothetical solar penetration scenarios over a broad geographic area. Such studies are most effective when high quality data on solar generation are available. By leveraging high resolution and accurate data from the SolarGIS database, our in-house developed powerful PV energy simulation tools, and our experience in solar power analaysis, we are able to provide the most realistic data on PV power generation for grid integration analysis.

PV variability and grid integration study Solargis

Key features of Solargis PV variability analysis

High spatial and temporal resolution

SolarGIS data have temporal resolution of 15 or 30 minutes and spatial resolution of 250m x 250m. This allows to better capture site-specific solar power output ramps, than would be possible with hourly data or data with coarser spatial resolution

Best representation of actual conditions

Validation statistics show that SolarGIS data have best accuracy amongst available modeled irradiation datasets – therefore you can get the most realistic representation of future scenarios with SolarGIS data

Better modelling of extreme events

We are able to simulate electricity production for multiple historical years, and therefore can better support estimation of inter-annual variability and capture extreme events


Example of analysis for a region in South Africa

Daily profiles and 15-minute variability in PV production for aggregation levels representing 225 PV plants distributed over a 500 kmx 500 km region in South Africa. It is seen that integrated power output is smoother for higher number of power plants that are more dispersed across a region.

Read more details in the scientific paper:
Cloud cover impact on photovoltaic power production in South Africa

PV output of 225 PV plants Solargis intermitency study

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you