Mitigation of voltage rise due to high solar PV penetration in Saudi distribution network

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This paper presents the details of exhaustive investigations on a typical Saudi distribution network showing the effectiveness of various control techniques to mitigate the voltage rise issues due to high penetration of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. One of the major goals of Saudi Arabia future economic plans is to expand on renewable energy installations throughout the Kingdom. It is planned to generate 9.5 GW of electric power from renewable energy sources by 2023. Further, energy regulators in the Kingdom have announced policies and regulations govern the integration of small- and large-scale solar PV. However, distributed solar PV systems come with technical challenges, especially during high level of integration including grid stability, voltage rise, flickering, frequency fluctuation, and protection and coordination schemes. One issue is that the voltage profile is expected to change and rise to unacceptable level, especially with high solar PV penetration. Various voltage rise mitigation techniques investigated include active power curtailment, reactive power injection, and also a hybrid combination of these two methods. The paper reports the results of both steady-state and dynamic analyses of the Saudi distribution network at various load levels. The investigations reveal that the hybrid approach is more effective in the voltage rise mitigation.

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This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR), at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under Grant No. G-438-135-562. The authors, therefore, acknowledge with thanks DSR for technical and financial support.

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Correspondence to Thamer Alquthami.

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Alquthami, T., Sreerama Kumar, R. & Shaikh, A. Mitigation of voltage rise due to high solar PV penetration in Saudi distribution network. Electr Eng (2020) doi:10.1007/s00202-020-00920-z

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  • Distributed solar photovoltaic
  • Renewable energy
  • Voltage rise
  • Distribution system operation