skytron energy, a leading developer of monitoring, control and supervision systems for renewable energy power plants, has expanded its skycontrol power plant controller with the telecontrol interface, skycontrol RI. Just in 2013, this interface has been retrofitted into photovoltaic power plants in Germany having a total capacity of 700 MWp, thus entitling their owners to an extra financial bonus for telecontrol access by the dispatcher.
Germany’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff Regulations were amended early 2012 to include an option for electricity trading. A year later, in January 2013, this new regulation was boosted by a dispatching management scheme which bestows a financial benefit for exchange-traded renewable power over that priced using the feed-in tariff. The telecontrol bonus - an extra financial incentive for private electricity trading - is however only awarded to those plants that allow telecontrol access. In contrast to the basic power-management bonus which is expected to fall gradually owing to the learning curve for dispatching administration, the share of the telecontrol bonus will grow with time. This is certain to arouse plant owners’ interest.
“The almost 40 MWp of our two solar parks, commissioned in 2011 in the east-German town of Finsterwalde, were retrofitted with skytron energy‘s telecontrol interface. Thus, within only a few weeks, they were made fit for the additional telecontrol bonus,” explains Roger Krämer, Investment Director of NIBC Infrastructure Partners, who hold these two plants together with their co-investor DIF. “These plants now offer active power control at 1-minute intervals as required by the new electricity trading scheme and automatically confirm the amount of power actually injected.”
skytron energy have now started to offer this new telecontrol interface as part of their power plant control system, skycontrol. Its outstanding compatibility, though, has not changed; the system can be employed with virtually all solar inverters on the market and it complies with the most diversified electricity dispatching schemes. For the 4.5 GWp of solar power that is currently traded directly on the German electricity exchange, this means that there is still a huge potential in opting for the financial bonus awarded for plant controllability.
skytron energy’s real-time monitoring system installed in the two solar power plants in Finsterwalde provides comprehensive data about the plants‘ status and performance which in turn is a valuable information base for power generation forecasting - vital for electricity dispatching! PVGuard, the system’s supervision platform, displays the plant’s control scheme and provides a detailed record of who has influenced power production at any given moment: the grid operator, the electricity dispatcher or manual inputs from the plant operator in the control room.
“Combined with our dynamic power plant controller, the new telecontrol interface for power dispatching enables solar power plants to be integrated in the dispatcher’s virtual power plant portfolio and to contribute their part to the very realistic ‘smart distribution’ vision,” emphasizes Markus Mekerri, skytron energy’s specialist for the telecontrol interface.
About skytron energy
skytron energy has been developing integrated monitoring, control and supervision systems since 1977. Now one of the leading suppliers in the industry, specializing in utility-scale and commercial power plants, it has installed monitoring and control systems in more than 600 plants with a total capacity of over 4.5 GWp. The company’s core competencies are plant condition monitoring, power plant control, remote plant supervision, system migration of existing power plants, operation & maintenance, and PV asset management. skytron energy is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has operations in Plano, Texas; Santiago, Chile; Cape Town, South Africa; Bangalore, India; Singapore and Beijing, China. As a technology leader, skytron energy has received a number of prestigious awards, such as the highly coveted InterSolar Award for the “PVGuard” Supervision Platform and for the “StringGuard” string current measurement system.