Merit Controls releases new power plant controller for string inverter projects

Earning checks, a provider of grid integration products and services for renewable energy power plants, announced a new Rapid-Response Power Plant Controller (PPC) positioned to drive growth in the utilities sector. Merit Controls’ Rapid-Response PPC, a first of its kind solution, enables a programmatic approach to clean energy deployment in the US, giving solar PV plants access to lucrative side markets – with or without energy storage.

“The value that string inverters provide to larger installations has made them a popular choice internationally for utility-scale projects,” said Tom Kuster, CEO of Merit Controls. “The Merit Controls solution is a milestone in meeting that trend, which is bound to continue in the United States. Our Rapid-Response PPC takes advantage of the maintenance efficiency and potentially higher energy efficiency of string inverters. In addition, our Rapid-Response PPC opens up revenue opportunities in all supporting markets, while maintaining compliance and strengthening network security. The technology is key to advancing our decarbonisation goals and combating the effects of climate change.”

Benefits of the Rapid-Response PPC + String Inverter Solution from Merit Controls include:

Additional market participation

Energy storage or central inverters have traditionally been required to participate in ancillary services markets. Merit’s approach breaks that paradigm in the US by combining string inverters with their Rapid-Response PPC to meet the most stringent frequency response requirements. This enables optimized ancillary services revenue streams in any US ISO or utility market, such as ERCOT.

Higher availability and energy yield

Merit’s Rapid-Response PPC manages capacity through multiple string inverters, simplifying maintenance and maximizing revenue. It works effectively with the string inverter architecture to reduce the risks of downtime and power interruptions. While projects in land undulation geographies level output to the lowest producing panel, using distributed string inverters minimizes mismatch losses and improves yield, which is important when project economy is often tight.

Price consistency

Conventional wisdom assumes that using string inverters can increase capital costs compared to a central inverter system. However, combining Merit’s Rapid-Response PPC with string inverters makes them suitable for a wide range of project capacities and geographies, especially for developers standardizing the Merit approach and sourcing in high volumes. Improving the versatility of string inverters with Merit’s Rapid-Response PPC—alongside savings on operations and maintenance and the inherent benefits of string inverter technology—allows for greater efficiency. Using Merit’s modeling services during the project development phase can streamline the interconnection process and make it less risky, further reducing costs.

“Breakthrough and forward-thinking technology to enable the penetration of renewable energy into all US markets is just one way we are setting the standard for the integration and proliferation of renewable energy projects,” said Kuster. “We advocate for our future with clean energy in everything we do. We look forward to working with the developer community to realize that vision.”

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