Grid-interactive rooftop photovoltaic clusters with third-party ownership

Author(s): Kumudu N. Amarawardhanaa, Shantha D.G. Jayasingheb and Farhad Shahniac
a Department of Mechanical Engineering, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Colombo, Sri Lanka
b Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Newnham, Australia
c Discipline of Engineering and Energy, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, vol. 9, no. 1, January 2020: pp. 102-111
ISSN: 2315-4462 (Print)
ISSN: 2373-3594 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.9.1.102-111

Abstract: Irrespective of having a variety of policies and competitively lower costs of solar panels, rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems have not been attractive to the majority of stakeholders because a perfect integration of the technologies and policies is yet to evolve. In this context, the power purchasing agreement (PPA) scheme under third-party ownership is becoming an attractive financing option available for residential PV applications. This paper elaborates on an innovative concept for the development of a centralized unit commitment management system for grid-interactive rooftop PV systems that are integrated with energy storage systems, under a PPA scheme. It is technically feasible to expand the energy storage of distributed PV systems and link together to operate as a cluster, where there is a huge potential in achieving a number of grid supporting operations including peak shaving and load shifting. This paper emphasizes that economic feasibility of the proposed concept depends on the accuracy of demand prediction and smart monitoring of system parameters and thus, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based monitoring approaches, which have a greater potential in real-time handling of operations, are required to achieve the best results. The implementation of this concept will be beneficial for almost all stakeholders involved in the business-as-usual and simultaneously, act as a catalyst in popularizing PV systems in developing countries.

Keywords: Battery energy storage, centralized monitoring and unit commitment management, demand prediction, residential solar systems, third party ownership
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