Polish grid operator switches off gigawatts of PV

The third disconnection of renewable energy capacity this year has been announced by Polish grid operator Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne (PSE). This time, PSE has started a reduction of 1,201 MW to 1,877 MW of PV in reaction to oversupply.

Poland’s increasing PV share is becoming more difficult for grid operator PSE to handle, therefore in less than a month, the third reduction of renewable energy output was imposed.

“Due to the oversupply of generation in the National Power System and the need to restore the regulatory capabilities of the National Power System, PSE is introducing a non-market reduction in the generation of photovoltaic sources on March 26, 2024,” PSE said in a brief statement this week.

Three one-hour curtailments of 1,201 MW, 1,877 MW, and 1,711 MW from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm have been announced.

This is the third curtailment of renewable energy this year by the grid operator. They’ve all happened in March, and the most recent one only mentioned PV installations.

According to the energy.insrat.pl portal, photovoltaics generated and fed 9.7 GWh of electricity into the grid on Tuesday morning of this week, at roughly 10 am.

As a result, solar energy accounted for around 45% of the nation’s total electricity output, with coal coming in second at about 27%.

PSE disconnected solar for the first time ever in April 2023 because grid upgrades could not keep up with the country’s rapidly growing PV fleet.

It ordered solar and wind installations to temporarily disconnect and declared an official danger to grid security due to the excess of renewable energy.

“We need to invest some 500 billion zlotys ($126 billion) in transmission and distribution grids by 2040,” PSE Chief Executive Tomasz Sikorski said at the time, adding that the country needs to time grid upgrades so that they are finalized in sync with the growth of the nation’s renewable fleet.

Approximately 70% of Poland’s electricity is produced by coal; however, according to its new energy policy, 74% of the country’s energy will come from nuclear and renewable energy sources that produce no emissions.

By the end of 2022, Poland had installed PV capacity totaling 12.4 GW, placing it third in Europe behind Germany and Spain.

According to Polish study organization Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej (IEO), the nation has 18 GW of solar PV projects with grid connection approvals by the end of the third quarter of 2023.

Source PSE

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