First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) today said that its 141-MW photovoltaic (PV) park in Chile has become the world’s first known utility-scale solar plant licensed to deliver ancillary grid services commercially.
Chilean independent system operator (ISO), Coordinador Electrico Nacional, had recently added the Luz del Norte plant to its portfolio of large-scale power generators approved to deliver a range of grid services, including automatic generation control (AGC), the US solar solutions provider said.
The licensing comes after an extensive audit, jointly conducted by the ISO, researcher of power technologies Laborelec Latam and First Solar, to evaluate the solar park’s capabilities.
The Luz del Norte park is equipped with First Solar’s proprietary thin-film modules. The facility was commissioned in 2016 and is located in Copiapo, Atacama region.
In 2016, First Solar participated in a demonstration project with the California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO) and the US government-funded National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to prove utility-scale solar’s grid capabilities.
A First Solar-designed 300-MW PV park was used in the research, which focused on the plant’s ability to provide AGC, primary frequency control, ramp rate control and voltage regulation. It was found that the PV plant performed better than fast gas turbine technologies, First Solar said.
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