New Industry Products

AMSC Launches Its SolarTie Grid Interconnection Solution for Photovoltaic Power Plants

October 17, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. announced the launch of its SolarTie™ Grid Interconnection Solution. The SolarTie solution combines two of AMSC’s proven and proprietary technologies – D-VAR® STATCOM solutions and PowerModuleâ„¢ power converter systems – that are today connecting over 15GW of renewable energy to the grid. This new offering is a utility-scale grid interconnection system designed specifically for megawatt-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants.

According AMSC, by coupling best-in-class power converter capabilities with its world-renowned dynamic reactive compensation technology, the SolarTie product is said to represent the industry’s first fully optimized solution for utility-scale PV power plant developers.

With a base rating of 1.4MW and a turn-on voltage of up to 1,000Vdc, the company says the SolarTie solution is one of the most robust power inverter systems on the market.

"AMSC’s SolarTie solution offers grid-management support, reactive compensation and grid interconnection, all of which are required by utility-scale PV plant developers," said Ash Sharma, Research Director at IMS Research. "As a result, AMSC’s product appears well positioned for this growing market."

Similar to wind farms, solar power plants often must meet requirements in a growing number of countries for dynamic reactive compensation. Employing the same technology as AMSC’s proven D-VAR system, which is connecting more than 70 wind farms worldwide to the grid, the SolarTie solution provides instantaneous detection, accurate response and immediate results, ensuring efficient energy production and precise grid management. For example, if a disturbance occurs (voltage sag or swell, passing clouds or other event) the SGI will command the PV plant’s SolarTie inverters to provide the needed reactive support to control the voltage at the POI. AMSC’s SolarTie solution provides sub-cycle (less than 16 milliseconds) detection and response to grid disturbances while many competing interconnection solutions have response times of 10 to 20 seconds.

"Over the course of the past decade, AMSC has established itself as a leader in the renewable energy market with a wide range of solutions," said AMSC President and Chief Operating Officer Dan McGahn. "In fact, our power technologies are now enabling nearly 10% of the world’s wind generated electricity. We are proud to utilize this tremendous experience base to field a highly optimized, high power grid interconnection solution for PV solar power plant developers. AMSC’s SolarTie solution sets a new standard for the industry by simplifying implementation, reducing project cost and enhancing plant reliability."