How can QFs show they’re a valuable generation asset?
By: Adam Baker
About the webinar
PV owners are concerned with keeping their sites running at maximum output. The problem is, utilities have the control to take them offline completely, and do so during grid instability, especially when it comes to small QF sites.
If implemented with the right controls, however, solar sites can actually avoid this curtailment. In fact, they can be commanded by those same utilities to run at lower output during times of grid instability. Small PV sites that have implemented active power curtailment controls are less likely to be shut off than larger sites without these types of controls.
It’s better for the utility to have QF sites at their disposal that can run at a low output on short notice. It provides a benefit to both parties. When other sites power back up, it’s less of a shock to the grid (which makes utilities happy) and it also allows smaller sites to provide a continual stream of revenue, even if reduced, to the site owner.
Active power curtailment isn’t just about the ability to flip a switch and turn a PV site on or off. It’s having the controls to adjust site output at any level between 0% and 100%. A control systems integrator, like Affinity Energy, has the know-how to implement these controls at QF sites.
The addition of controls to a solar project is pretty minor. But having a system that can respond slower and reduce grid disruption allows even small QF sites to make a difference on the grid.
Adam Baker is Senior Sales Executive at Affinity Energy with responsibility for providing subject matter expertise in utility-scale solar plant controls, instrumentation, and data acquisition. With 23 years of experience in automation and control, Adam’s previous companies include Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley), First Solar, DEPCOM Power, and GE Fanuc Automation.
Adam was instrumental in the development and deployment of three of the largest PV solar power plants in the United States, including 550 MW Topaz Solar in California, 290 MW Agua Caliente Solar in Arizona, and 550 MW Desert Sunlight in the Mojave Desert.
After a 6-year stint in controls design and architecture for the PV solar market, Adam joined Affinity Energy in 2016 and returned to sales leadership, where he has spent most of his career. Adam has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and has been active in environmental and good food movements for several years.