Solar network studies for Top Energy

With New Zealand pushing for an even higher renewable generation mix and the continued reduction in solar technology costs, our distribution companies are increasingly fielding enquiries from developers looking to connect grid scale solar on to their networks.

While harnessing the sun’s energy to provide renewable generation is a positive step towards a low emissions economy, this does create operational challenges and risks for the utility companies that need to be assessed and managed.

Ergo has recently been engaged to complete network studies, on behalf of Top Energy, for three proposed solar farms in the upper North Island. The solar farms range in size up to 24MW and are proposed to connect into Top Energy’s 33kV networks.

The studies have been modelled using DigSilent Power Factory and consider the impact of the generation on:

  • substations and lines loadings
  • network voltages during operation, including any impacts due to load rejection/cloud cover
  • network fault levels
  • the network’s protection.

We have also examined whether any further reactive power compensation is required to manage network voltages; reviewed potential harmonic impacts; and completed dynamic simulations.

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Triton Substation 33/11kV Upgrade
Powering the North