Higeco More launches Central Plant Controller for new Italian solar regulations


When it comes to balancing the distribution of renewable energy resources across the energy mix, the monitoring and remote control of solar PV plants is essential. In view of this, Higeco More has developed Senergy, a turnkey solar solution to meet the new standards set by Italian electricity market regulator, ARERA.

It is a powerful and flexible Power Plant Controller that monitors and remotely controls power plants, making them compliant with several international Grid Codes, including: European regulation 2016/631; Italian CEI 0-16 2022-03 and Terna Grid Code annex A68; Romanian Ordin 208-18; and UK Ena G99 recommendation; South African Grid Code 2.9.

“Our product allows both the Point of Delivery and the individual generators to be monitored, and the power plant to be regulated, both in autonomous or via external commands,” said the company. “The connection with the DSO / TSO, and any other authorized entities is simple thanks to the various communication protocols supported: IEC61850, IEC60870-101/104, DNP3, Modbus TCP, OPC UA.”

The central plant controller is equipped with a web-based interface that can be accessed both locally and remotely. Cyber security is further guaranteed thanks to the IsaSecure SDLA IEC 62443-4-1 and CSA IEC 62443-4-2 certifications, and the use of IEC 62351 compliant safe transport profiles.

“Hard- earned experience in renewables has allowed us at Higeco More to develop Senergy, a high-tech solution able to satisfy all the technical and certification requirements set by ARERA and the Italian Electrotechnical Committee (CEI) 0-16. From May, it will be possible to pre-order Senergy, to guarantee access to the maximum amount offered by the ARERA bonus. An organised network of installers and a dedicated help desk completes our offer,” said founder and application manager of Higeco More, Fulvio Ferrari.

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The regulations

In accordance with European guidelines for the monitoring and controlling of distributed generation from renewable sources, the CEI has introduced the Central Plant Controller (CCI) as variants V1 and V2 in accordance with standard 0-16. This hardware device offers real-time management by the distributor of production plants with a nominal power greater than 1 MW and connected in medium voltage.

ARERA’s Resolution 540/2021 / R / EEL of 11/30/2021, completed the regulatory framework by making the CCI mandatory for all new plants that are operational starting from Dec. 1, 2022. In addition, all existing plants, together with those that come into operation by Nov. 30, 2022, must install the CCI by Jan. 31, 2024. Finally, the obligation to install the CCI extends to all Medium Voltage plants operating in the Dispatching Market, regardless of their power output.

The good news is that ARERA makes a standard contribution to help cover the expenses incurred for plants subject to the retrofitting of the CCI. This “bonus” is paid out by the Distributor within two months of completion of an application and is equal to €10,000 for conversions made by Mar. 31, 2023, and is reduced by 25% for each subsequent quarter. Failure to install a CCI within the set deadlines incurs a fine that can go as far as invalidating the TICA – a set of regulations issued from ARERA – and will result in the disconnection of the PV system from the power grid.

Find out more at this year's Intersolar Europe event, this week, at booth B4.370.

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