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STA Scotland Secures Better Grid Access For Solar

 


Small and medium sized solar installations up to 200kW in
size will find it easier to connect to Scottish Power Energy Networks grid in
Scotland as of the 1st of April 2018. The breakthrough comes thanks to the main
Distribution Network Operator agreeing to relax restrictions on solar after STA
Scotland lobbied them to analyse several case study connections which, after
further calculations and consideration, showed the modest network impact of
most rooftop solar projects in practice.

Analysis by the network operator Scottish Power Energy
Networks (SPEN) on data provided by STA Scotland members across a range of
solar installations concluded that the effect of most on the local grid was
much less than previously thought. SPEN had required a 'Statement of Works'
from developers seeking to install even small solar projects over 11kW. This
meant developers had to commission a costly and time-consuming analysis of how
projects may affect transmission loads
at national level, adding over £10,000 to some project costs. Also, where fault
levels are high on the network, SPEN also confirmed they would only consider
these in connections over 200kW, although voltage rise calculations will still
apply.

STA Scotland Chair Chris Clark said; "This is a
breakthrough for solar in much of Scotland and it goes a long way towards
removing one of several barriers to Scotland realising its solar potential.
We're grateful to Scottish Power Energy Networks for engaging with our members
and for looking carefully at the evidence. As a result of SPEN taking a
sensible approach to rooftop schemes, businesses and housing developers in
Scotland will find it easier & cheaper to go solar. Developers, consultants and architects can
now look again at solar as a solution to making their buildings more
efficient."

The decision will have a significant, material impact on the
economics and attractiveness of going solar, particularly for the commercial
rooftop and multi-scheme new build housing sectors. The STA has been holding
meetings with Distribution Network Operators in Scotland on the impact of
outages and curtailment on solar PV projects.

Chris Clark said; "We look forward to deepening our
collaboration with SPEN as the networks transition to smart, active
Distribution System Operators able to make full use of the many services and
potential cost savings solar PV and energy storage can deliver."


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