There are many reasons for the massive market growth in the sub-5MW sector. One of the main reasons is that almost any generating system connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) less than 5MW is exempt from registering as a generator in the market.

This exemption releases developers from the massive regulatory challenges, delays, and costs faced by larger generators who must register as a generator and ensure strict compliance with various other NEM regulations.

They may also sell Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) to organisations, such as supermarkets, to meet LGC quotas to meet Clean Energy Regulator’s requirements.

However, it is essential to understand the exemption under the NEM rule. For instance, it does not apply to a system that is artificially held to less than 5MW by software-controlled power limitations but is physically capable of more. DNSPs and TNSPs carefully enforce this policy across the board.

FIMER’s PVS-175-MVCS solution installed in South Australia

Aiming to get as close to 5MW is the goal

The magic number developers are targeting is 4.95MW. This number offers the most significant generation potential without attracting the attention of regulators. Designing a decentralised solution using string inverters for a sub 5MW project involves connecting many units to add up to a total capability below 5MW, which is a reasonably simple solution.

FIMER’s award-winning PVS-175 solution is ideal for sub 5MW projects when coupled with the Medium Voltage Compact Skid. However, the options in the centralised space have traditionally been less considerate of the regulatory challenges of the Australian energy sector.

Individual systems tend to be too small or large, with none close to 4.95MW. For performance and financial return on the investment, the goal is to come as close to 5MW as possible.

Under 5MW, centralised inverters tend to top out at around 4.6MW, with the following options being 5MW, 5.5MW and 6MW, all
of which attract regulatory obligations. FIMER has developed a new solution specifically for the Australian market: a single, central 4.95MW plug-and-play inverter station.

It’s not a larger inverter throttled by software in an attempt to stay below regulatory levels. FIMER’s PVS980-CS is custom-built to a maximum level of 4.95MW to deliver maximum returns.

Model selection is key

With both feasible decentralised and centralised solutions now available, It’s all about choosing the right model for your next project.

There are many considerations when choosing to go with either a centralised or decentralised solution for a sub-5MW solar project.

Historically, it may not have been feasible to go down a centralised solution. However, today, there are clear and reliable options for both centralised and decentralised developments under 5MW. FIMER’s centralised solution can be built as high as 4.95MVA, whereas FIMER’s decentralised solution can be built as high as 4.995MVA utilising a modular inverter solution.

FIMER has a detailed white paper that goes into the magic number of 4.95 and another paper exploring the difference between central or decentralised solutions.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by FIMER. For more information, go to:

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