Because of zero greenhouse gas emission and decreased manufacture cost, solar photovoltaic (PV) generation is expected to account for a significant portion of future power grid generation portfolio. Because it is indirectly connected to the power grid via power electronic devices, solar PV generation system is fully decoupled from the power grid, which will influence the interconnected power grid dynamic characteristics as a result. In this paper, the impact of solar PV penetration on large interconnected power system frequency response and inter-area oscillation is evaluated, taking the United States Eastern Interconnection (EI) as an example. Furthermore, based on the constructed solar PV electrical control model with additional active power control loops, the potential contributions of solar PV generation to power system frequency regulation and oscillation damping are examined. The advantages of solar PV frequency support over that of wind generator are also discussed. Simulation results demonstrate that solar PV generations can effectively work as 'actuators' in alleviating the negative impacts they bring about. Copyright (C) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.