Will a PV power plant save you from load shedding?

  • Posted by Ross Matthews
  • On 2022-12-22

As with most things, the answer is Yes…..and No.  Or rather, It depends.

Generally, there are two setups for a PV system – one that is tied to the grid and one that can operate in a stand-alone or “Island” configuration.  While the power for both systems is generated by the solar panels, the inverter that converts the DC power into usable AC power is very different. 

A Grid-tie inverter relies on information received from the grid to operate.  Thus, if there is a grid failure, and therefor no information available from the grid, these inverters curtail all power generated by the solar panels and so there is no power available from the solar system whilst the grid is down and so this cannot save you from load shedding. 

A Hybrid inverter is more complex (and costly) as it can also work with power from batteries (Battery Energy Storage System or BESS) or a generator.  Thus, if there is a grid failure, the inverter gets information from either the batteries or the generator that allows it to continue to convert the DC power to AC power.   Consequently, a PV system with a hybrid inverter and BESS can save you from load shedding.

Due to the extra cost of the hybrid inverter and the batteries that can be used with this inverter, financial feasibility needs to be carefully assessed before deciding on what system works best for you.  We can assist you with this evaluation process.


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