TenneT links with SMA to boost real-time solar data provision

German PV inverter maker SMA Solar Technology and transmission grid operator TenneT have signed a contract for the provision of current performance data from PV systems.

The deal aims at better integrating solar energy into the utility grid, a feature increasingly important in Germany due to the rapidly rising share of intermittent renewable power in the county's electricity mix.

Germany last year met about a third of its electricity needs from renewables.

Using data supplied by SMA, TenneT can make more realistic, real-time projections of the level of fed-in solar energy in the TenneT control area and, in combination with meteorological data for the coming hours and days, make more accurate predictions, the companies say.

"Following the pioneering technological work involved in generating sufficient volumes of renewable energy cost-efficiently, the next step is the digitalization of the energy industry," says SMA chief executive Pierre-Pascal Urbon.

"The ability to provide accurate production and consumption data is a key element of the decentralized and renewable energy supply of the future."

The partnership is the first of its kind in Germany, giving TenneT the possibility to receive solar power generation data directly, Urban Keussen, chairman of the managing board at TenneT, says.

SMA has over 220,000 PV systems registered on its online 'Sunny Portal' worldwide. In TenneT's control area alone, more than 40,000 PV systems equipped with SMA inverters are installed.

Around 40% of the solar energy supply in Germany falls within the control area of the transmission grid operator, which includes Bavaria – one of Germany's largest producer states, where already 12% of electricity needs is met by solar.