Storm Babet costs the UK, Germany and the Netherlands more than 422.93 GWh – pv Spain Magazine

In the new weekly update for Photoelectricity Magazine, Solcast, a DNV company, is exploring the impact of the now-defunct Storm Babet as it passes through the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Lithuania. The solar company urges that when major weather events like Storm Babet occur in the future, grid operators must proactively prepare.

Solar production in the UK, Netherlands and Germany declined from October 19-20 last week due to the impact of Storm Babbitt.

Clouds from large storms like Babet can reduce the radiation at a location to less than 10% under clear-sky conditions. This reduces generation from solar assets and can cause significant net demand on the grid. This is because residential inverters increasingly consume raw power from the grid rather than rooftop assets.

Solcast’s analysis includes grid-wide asset data, behind-the-meter generation estimates, and data from Solcast’s grid aggregation model. It also uses algorithms trained using global radiation and grid data to estimate total grid capacity in load areas.

The scale of the impact in these countries highlights the critical need for proactive management by network operators. As residential solar markets mature, the grid impact of rooftop solar becomes more important. Major weather events such as Storm Babet must be managed proactively by grid operators to ensure stability.

After a relatively sunny start to the week, Storm Babbit blanketed the hemisphere in clouds and affected power generation above a meter on Thursday and Friday. As can be seen in the GHI image above, large areas received almost no radiation, less than 1 kWh/m^2 during the day, from Northern Ireland to Lithuania.

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In the UK, total solar production on Tuesday, including behind-the-meter generation, was 34 gigawatt hours. Between Wednesday and Friday, it decreased to 10-15 gigawatts per hour. Germany has more residential solar capacity and it fell from 112 GWh to less than 30 GWh during the storm. The 50 Hz TSO area, in eastern Germany, recorded the largest relative decrease: on Friday it received only 4.5 GWh, 11% of the 40.2 GWh on Wednesday.

In the Netherlands, the decline was particularly pronounced, given the smaller area and more concentrated storm impacts. On Friday, 7.1 GWh was recorded, 92% less than 92.1 GWh at the beginning of the week.

Forecasts based on aggregate models, such as the one used here, are used by grid operators to plan electricity supply needs. This is typically done through storage, hydropower, or, more commonly, fossil gas or biomass generation.

Solcast produces these numbers by monitoring clouds and aerosols globally at a resolution of 1 to 2 km, using satellite data and AI/ML algorithms. This data is used to drive radiation models, allowing Solcast to calculate radiation with high accuracy, with a model bias of less than 2%, as well as cloud tracking forecasts. This data is used by more than 300 companies managing more than 150 gigawatts of solar assets worldwide.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of him Photoelectricity Magazine.

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