Decentralized Design Selected for Utility-Scale PV Plant in North Carolina
ROCKLIN, Calif., March 5, 2015—O2 Energies has flipped the switch on its 4.25 MW Rockwell Solar Farm in North Carolina. The utility-scale PV plant is powered by decentralized inverter solutions by SMA, including 145 Sunny Tripower TL-US three-phase, transformerless inverters and two SMA Cluster Controllers. The system is expected to generate more than 6,200 MWh of clean, renewable energy for Rowan County annually.
"Because the site was in rolling terrain, a decentralized system design with multiple power point tracking was the optimal solution," said Henry Dziuba, president and general manager of SMA America. "With this approach, owner-operator O2 Energies will benefit from reduced upfront and long-term costs and increased energy production, while the redundancy provided by multiple inverters will preserve system uptime, protecting against lost profits."
O2 Energies focuses on integrating cutting-edge technology into sustainable, community-friendly solar development. For the Rockwell Solar Farm, it selected 16,629 Hanwha SolarOne modules, one Sunny Tripower 20000TL-US and 144 Sunny Tripower 24000TL-US inverters, as well as the Cluster Controllers, which provide advanced system monitoring and control.
"Quality and reliability were imperative when selecting components for this project," said Joel Olsen, president of O2 Energies, based in Cornelius, North Carolina. "The Sunny Tripower is a top-of-the-line, three-phase inverter with significant global deployments."
The Sunny Tripower TL-US is UL listed for up to 1,000 V DC maximum system voltage and has a peak efficiency above 98 percent, while OptiTrac™ Global Peak minimizes the effects of shade for maximum energy production. Also available in 12 and 15 kilowatt models, the Sunny Tripower TL-US delivers full grid management functionality, cutting-edge communications and advanced monitoring. It is also equipped with all-pole ground fault protection and integrated AFCI for a safe, reliable solution. The Sunny Tripower TL-US offers unmatched flexibility with a wide input voltage range and two independent MPP trackers. Suitable for both 600 V DC and 1,000 V DC applications, it allows for flexible design and a lower levelized cost of energy.
Meanwhile, the SMA Cluster Controller offers reliable monitoring and control of up to 75 inverters, thanks to its Ethernet-based Speedwire fieldbus and high-performance, dual-core processor. Advantages of the SMA Cluster Controller include optimum data transmission rates for plant monitoring and fast processing of the measured values, status updates, and plant control commands. Furthermore, a variety of sensor connection options allow for precise evaluation of plant power, which also can be viewed via the Sunny Portal Web-based PV monitoring platform.
The Rockwell Solar Farm demonstrates O2 Energies' hyper-local focus, which includes hiring local labor, renting local equipment, obtaining financing through a local bank, and, in this case, allowing local sheep to graze on the grass that will grow under and around the solar panels. O2 Energies also partners with local schools and has developed a six-week science course that culminates with a field trip to one of the company's 11 solar farms in North Carolina.
The Sunny Tripower TL-US and Cluster Controller are available through SMA's North American distribution program. To locate an SMA Authorized Distributor, visit SMA America's website and click "Where to Buy."
About O2 Energies, Inc.
O2 Energies is an independent power producer that develops, owns and operates solar farms across the Southeast. Our investors enjoy working with an experienced partner that makes investing in solar simple and profitable. O2 Energies' projects are developed to maximize the local jobs and local investment while enhancing sustainability and educational opportunities in each project community.
The SMA Group with expected sales of more than €790 million in 2014 is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants and, as an energy management group, offers innovative key technologies for future power supply structures. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented in 21 countries. The Group employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. SMA's broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all PV system sizes. The product range includes system technologies for grid-connected photovoltaic systems as well as off-grid and hybrid systems. The service portfolio is supplemented by comprehensive services and operational management of large-scale PV power plants. Since 2008, the Group's parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. www.SMA-America.com