Scalability Drives Efficiency, Offers New Revenue Opportunities
Houston, TX and Clinton, NJ — October 7, 2021 — Merit Controls, the leading 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 utility-scale sector. Merit Controls’ Rapid-Response PPC, a first-of-its-kind solution, enables a programmatic approach to U.S. clean energy deployment, providing solar PV power plants entrance into lucrative ancillary markets —with or without energy storage.
“The value that string inverters bring to larger installations has made them a popular choice internationally for utility-scale projects,” Tom Kuster, CEO of Merit Controls, said. “Merit Controls’ solution is a milestone toward accommodating that trend as it inevitably continues into the United States. Our Rapid-Response PPC leverages the maintenance efficiencies and potentially higher energy yield of string inverters. Additionally, our Rapid-Response PPC opens revenue opportunities in all ancillary markets while maintaining compliance and bolstering grid security. The technology is key to advancing our decarbonization goals and fighting the impacts of climate change.”
Growing Trend: String Inverters in Utility-Scale Projects
A Global Market Insights Report estimates that the global string inverter market size will reach nearly $5 billion in yearly valuation by 2024. This is due to string inverters’ ability to provide value through higher energy yield at lower maintenance costs.
Merit Controls’ Rapid-Response PPC integrated with string inverters from select partners provides a scalable, efficient solution, enabling the proliferation of U.S. utility-scale renewable energy projects through a standard approach.
Benefits of Merit Controls’ Rapid-Response PPC + String Inverter solution include:
Ancillary Market Participation
Energy storage or central inverters traditionally have been required to participate in ancillary service markets. Merit’s approach breaks that paradigm in the U.S. by combining string inverters with their Rapid-Response PPC to meet the most stringent frequency response requirements. This allows optimized ancillary service revenue streams in any U.S. 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 effectively works with the string inverter architecture to mitigate the risks of downtime and power flow disruptions.
While projects in geographies with land undulation levelize output to the lowest-producing panel, employing distributed string inverters minimizes mismatch losses and improves yield, which is important when project economics are often tight.
Conventional wisdom assumes that using string inverters can add capital costs when compared to a central inverter system. However, combining Merit’s Rapid-Response PPC with string inverters makes them suitable for a wide variety of project capacities and regions, especially for developers that standardize on the Merit approach and purchase in high volumes. Enhancing string inverter versatility with Merit’s Rapid-Response PPC — in addition to operations and maintenance savings and the inherent benefits of string inverter technology — drives higher returns. Employing Merit’s modeling services during the project development phase can streamline and de-risk the interconnection process, further reducing costs, often below that of other solutions.
“Pioneering and advancing technology to allow renewable penetration in all U.S. markets is just one way we are setting the standard for renewable energy project grid integration and proliferation,” Kuster said. “We advocate for our clean energy future in everything we do. We look forward to working together with the developer community to achieve that vision.”
Merit Controls is already bringing its Rapid-Response PPC solution to a large U.S. customer portfolio of more than 40 solar and hybrid power plants — some as large as 500MW.
About Merit Controls
Merit Controls provides advanced, proven grid integration products and services for utility power generation, all in one platform. Its expertise and proven intellectual property help streamline integration while increasing efficiency and reducing risk.
Merit Controls is a division of Merit SI Technologies, partially owned by Turner Renewable Energy. The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas and maintains its technology center in Clinton, New Jersey. For more information, visit https://meritcontrols.com/