Austrian PV GRID Workshop – March 25th, 2014 - Vienna

Organizer: PV-Austria

Date: March 25th, 2014

Time: 10:00 – 13:00

Venue: PV-Austria, Neustiftgasse 115A7, 1070 Wien

Grid Integration of Photovoltaics: Challenges and Solutions

The Austrian PV GRID workshop took place on the 25th of March, 2014. 13 participants attended the workshop in order to discuss the results of the project PV Grid and provide recommendations with key national stakeholders.

Representatives from politics, distribution as well as transmission system operators, the national regulatory authority, the association of energy industry and research organizations discussed the most adequate solutions for Austria. This was followed by an analysis of the current challenges which prevent the application of available technical solutions.

In an opening statement Hans Kronberger, PV-Austria’s chairman, referred to the importance of the cooperation between grid operators and renewable energy operators.

After a general commitment, an overview of the PV GRID project was given, which introduced the audience to its scope, logic, approach and overall findings and results by now.

In subsequent sessions the project findings and technical solutions for enhancing PV hosting capacity in the distribution networks were discussed.

The selection of the proper method to mitigate problems related to increased PV-sourced feed in strongly depends on the network topology. In most cases a set of methods is necessary. Network operators even reported voltage problems to be the current main challenge in PV grids. They prefer to adopt (i) reactive power control in tandem with (ii) OLTC and booster as the best mitigation method, as network operator can adopt in a flexible and fast way. Furthermore, this solution can be utilized in every future PV penetration scenario. Curtailment and correlation with feed in priority was discussed but recommended to be discussed in a wider scope due to its macroeconomic benefit and concerns of uncertainties by the customers. The potential of metering infrastructure was discussed, too.

Network operators noted that planning is complicated due to the rapidly changing normative, regulatory and legal framework and the uncertainties associated with renewable energies’ general development. Therefore solutions in cooperation with political parties at all levels and network operators need to be further developed. The conclusion of the fruitful discussion was that a coordinated approach to manage the current challenges will be necessary.

Additionally to the current challenges with PV grid integration (at a level of 1% in Austria reached by the end of 2013), the question of a significant higher share of 8% and 20% respectively was discussed as well. It was mentioned that it is of outstanding importance to consider right now solutions for such a high penetration in order to avoid quick answers, which turn out not to be sufficient for higher shares. Such high share scenarios will also be taken into account by the association of Austrian utilities in its future work.

Austrian Workshop pictures