The increasing amount of electricity being fed in from renewable energy plants is placing new demands on the grid stability. The control and reactive power capacities previously provided by large fossil-fuel power plants, in particular, is currently not being sufficiently substituted by the many decentralized, smaller plants and must therefore be provided at high cost by compensation facilities.

Within the scope of the “PV Wind Symbiosis” collaborative project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the Institute for High Voltage Technology and Electrical Energy Systems (elenia) at Braunschweig Technical University are therefore working with industrial partners to investigate how the provision of reactive power can be improved by a combination of PV and wind turbines. To do this, control strategies have already been developed in a pilot plant with the aid of simulations. The new control system provides reactive power for the grid with the highest possible availability and minimal losses. Based on this, possible repercussions for the voltage quality and system stability can be investigated.

The aim of the project is, on the one hand, to analyse and evaluate existing grid infrastructures and grid data; on the other hand, to put together a catalogue of recommendations for reactive power management by developing, simulating and evaluating suitable innovative control concepts. The project also focuses on addressing economic matters, such as analysing the marketability of reactive power from large-scale power plants.

The project will be funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) until June 2019.