Germany retrofits 200,000 PV installations to meet 50 Hz requirement

Germany’s Renewable Energies Agency reports that around half of all PV installations have been retrofitted according to the country’s 50.2 Hz measure introduced in 2012. A total of approximately 400,000 PV systems are affected.

After a slight delay, about half of all solar installations affected by the 50.2 Hz issue have now been upgraded.

The 50.2 Hz problem arose after the accelerated rollout of PV installations across the country. Much of the existing PV generating capacity in the country was originally designed to cut off if the grid frequency rose to 50.2 Hz, which could happen as a result of a power surplus in the system. With Germany’s large quantity of PV power, a simultaneous cutoff of all of the country’s PV systems could have caused serious grid disruption.

The government therefore introduced a measure in 2012 mandating new frequency settings for new and existing PV installations, requiring hundreds of thousands of installations to be retrofitted.

Originally, some 90,000 installations ranging between 30 kW and 100 kW were to be upgraded by May, but according to the Renewable Energies Agency, delays resulted due to the large number of players involved in the upgrades, which include network operators, system owners, installers and inverter manufacturers.

"The retrofit of the larger solar power systems ensures the stability of the networks and that the high supply quality in Germany is preserved today and in the future,” said Philipp Vohrer, managing director of the Renewable Energies Agency.

Smaller PV systems with a capacity of 10 kW or less are exempted from the measure.

Translated and edited by Edgar Meza