As confirmed by the Polish energy generator and distributor, Tauron, since the end of October, a total of 683 large renewable energy sources (RES) with a capacity of 1.314 GW have been connected to the company’s power grid. In conjunction with over 370 thousand micro-installations with a total capacity of 2.819 GW – adding up to the total of 4.133 GW of connected RES capacity in the grid.
In the last three quarters, TAURON connected 80 large RES installations with a total capacity of 107 MW and over 93,000 micro-installations with a capacity of 786 MW to the distribution network.
“We are expanding and modernising distribution networks, investing approximately 2 billion złoty (426 million euros) annually. However, the development of RES sources exceeds the forecasts in this respect many times, and the existing power grid was not designed and built taking into account such needs”, said Paweł Szczeszek, President of the Management Board of the TAURON Group. “Currently, its modernisation and adaptation require increased financial outlays and is necessary for the development of RES in Poland”.
Last year, TAURON connected 89 RES to its grid with a total capacity of around 124 MW. Of this number, the vast majority, as many as 79, were solar farms with a total capacity of approximately 66.5 MW. In addition, the company connected over 127,000 micro installations with a power of 955 MW.
“Only in three quarters of this year, we connected 80 RES installations other than micro-installations with a total capacity of 107.6 MW to our network. We would like to point out, however, that it is not possible to connect energy generation sources of any size to distribution networks”, said Paweł Szczeszek, President of TAURON. “This is due to the laws of physics and network parameters. In the case of micro-installations, the growing number of distributed energy sources connected to the low-voltage grid changes the energy flows (energy flows from the low-voltage grid to the medium-voltage grid), which affects the management and operation of the grid and generates costs related to its adaptation to connection more unstable energy sources.”
According to the press release, with a large number of connected installations, the potential of the network in terms of connecting sources to the distribution network shrinks. In some areas, the network is no longer able to accept additional large generation sources. Other DSOs (distributor system operators) in Poland also encounter this problem.
As the press release adds, distribution companies are not able to rebuild and adapt the network in a timeframe that meets the expectations of applicants. In addition, the construction of renewable energy sources is often planned in areas where the energy infrastructure is underdeveloped which leads to higher costs. Due to this, the company is in some instances forced to reject proposals to connect large RES installations to the grid.