The impact of utility scale photovoltaic facilities on grid stability can be favourable if done properly. ESI Africa spoke with vice president of product management for First Solar, Mahesh Morjaria, to see how this is achieved.
The increasing cost competitiveness of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology (in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme PV prices fell from an average of R2.75/kWh in the first round to an indexed price of R0.88/kWh in the third round using 2011 as the base year) is seeing this energy carrier evolve in two directions globally. One is the proliferation of distributed solar PV on rooftops as owners of commercial buildings, businesses and homes see the benefits of offsetting their use of grid power. The second is the increase of utility scale grid connected photovoltaic systems. The global grid connected PV capacity has already reached over 100 GW.