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PVUSA: lessons learned from startup and early operation

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4 Author(s)
Hester, S.L. ; Pacific Gas & Electr. Co., San Ramon, CA, USA ; Townsend, T.U. ; Clements, W.T. ; Stolte, W.J.

Photovoltaics for Utility Scale Applications (PVUSA) is a national cooperative research project the purpose of which is to assess and demonstrate the viability of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) electric generation systems. PVUSA provides a bridge between the US PV industry and utilities by procuring and demonstrating PV system within a utility environment. The project's organization, status, and performance to date are discussed, and important lessons learned through the startup and early operation are reported. The lessons learned are divided into areas of engineering, procurement and construction, and performance. The project brought four advanced 20 kW arrays online in 1989, with contracts in place for an additional 1000 kW over the following two years. From the experience gained to date through these procurements, it has been found that PVUSA's initial design criteria and specifications for utility PV systems are adequate, but evolving. The overall consensus is that, as market forces begin to accelerate PV development for utility use, the readiness gap between utility needs and the PV industry's capabilities will continue to narrow

Published in:

Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 1990., Conference Record of the Twenty First IEEE

Date of Conference:

21-25 May 1990