First Solar facility in Chile delivers range of grid services commercially

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
The 141MW Luz del Norte facility is helping to maintain grid reliability and stability in Chile. Image: First Solar.

First Solar has claimed its 141MW Luz del Norte solar project is the “world’s first” utility-scale solar facility licensed to provide ancillary grid services commercially.

Chile’s independent system operator (ISO) Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional recently added Luz del Norte to its portfolio of large-scale power generators that are approved to deliver a range of grid services, including automatic generation control (AGC).

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Located in the Atacama Region and commissioned in 2016, the facility is now being used by the ISO to manage the frequency of the country’s electricity system, helping ensure the grid’s reliability and stability.

“We are very pleased with this achievement as this increases the spectrum of technologies capable of providing the services needed to maintain a safe and reliable operation of the electrical system,” said Carlos Barría of Chile’s Ministry of Energy.

First Solar said utility-scale solar’s grid capabilities were previously proven as part of 2016 project a carried out by the company alongside the California Independent Systems Operator and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The study examined a First Solar-designed power plant’s ability to provide AGC, primary frequency control, ramp rate control and voltage regulation. It found that the PV power plant performed better than fast gas turbine technologies.

Troy Lauterbach, senior vice president, First Solar Energy Services, lauded Chile’s “visionary” approach to designing its future grid, which has allowed the company “to take a proven concept and implement a commercially and technically viable solution”.

“As utility companies and ISOs around the world grapple with the challenge of decarbonising their grids, Luz del Norte has come to represent the realisable potential of large-scale solar,” said Lauterbach. “By delivering a combination of clean electricity and no-carbon grid services, it demonstrates the value of investing in large-scale solar.”

25 April 2024
5pm BST (9am PDT)
The webinar will provide the very latest trends in PV module supply and what is important when assessing product quality and reliability. How many of the imported modules for example, from Southeast Asia and India, are based on n-type TOPCon and heterojunction now? What is important to look at when assessing these new technologies’ reliability?
21 May 2024
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 21-22 May 2024, will be our third PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2025 and beyond.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 1, 2024
Dallas, Texas
Solar Media Events
May 21, 2024
Sydney, Australia