A solar farm has provided National Grid ESO with reactive power overnight in what is being lauded as a UK first. Solar inverters at one of Lightsource BP’s solar plants were used to provide a reactive power service on Monday 4 November. The solar inverters are capable of providing reactive power – the ability to maintain voltage levels on electricity transmission systems – by reducing or increasing voltage levels. This then delivers the voltage change necessary at the grid point. National Grid ESO said this is the first instance of a solar asset providing the service at night, when a solar farm would ordinarily be inactive. The trial means solar could be providing reactive power overnight, utilising the asset when it would otherwise be sitting idle, a move which would help.
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