MetaPV: Real world demonstration of smart grids with intelligent PV systems


Client:  The European Commission
Period:  2009-2015


3E led coordination of MetaPV, a European Commission funded research and demonstration project with five other partners from four European countries. The results from the MetaPV project provide the scientific basis for transforming photovoltaics from a variable source of power to active support for a more intelligent grid. MetaPV demonstrates for the first time outside a lab environment and in a commercial setting, that with active control systems and inverters, PV can be a source of contributing stability, an integral part of the smart grid and not only an intermittent addition. The implementation of this project will strongly increase the capacity of the existing grid for hosting local power generation.

The project also shows that battery storage can reduce PV losses and the need for curtailment in significant ways. However, the deployment of battery storage will depend very much on costs and its ability to serve complementary use cases with a single storage system. For example, increasing the hosting capacity of the grid locally may be complemented by increasing local self-consumption of electricity from PV and storage devices, or by providing ancillary services to the transmission system operator.
MetaPV is the result of unique international collaboration between the market, the industry and high level research. By bringing together the expertise of system operators (Infrax), inverter manufacturers (SMA), renewable energy experts (3E), researchers (the Austrian Institute of Technology and the University of Llubjana) and investors (LRM), MetaPV provides field tested innovative grid solutions, demonstrating the power of PV.