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Method for Spatiotemporal Solar Power Profile Estimation for a Proposed U.S.–Caribbean–South America Super Grid under Hurricanes

by Rodney Itiki, Nils M Stenvig, Phani Teja V Kuruganti, Silvio Giuseppe Di Santo
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Solar photovoltaic (PV) generation technology stands out as a scalable and cost-effective solution to enable the transition toward decarbonization. However, PV solar output, beyond the daily solar irradiance variability and unavailability during nights, is very sensitive to weather events like hurricanes. Hurricanes nucleate massive amounts of clouds around their centers, shading hundreds of kilometers in their path, reducing PV power output. This research proposes a spatiotemporal method, implemented in MATLAB R2023b coding, to estimate the shading effect of hurricanes over a wide distribution of PV solar plants connected to a high-voltage power infrastructure called the U.S.–Caribbean–South America super grid. The complete interconnection of the U.S., the Caribbean, and South America results in the lowest power valley levels, i.e., an overall percentual reduction in PV power output caused by hurricane shading. The simulations assess the impact of hurricanes in 10 synthetic trajectories spanning from Texas to Florida. The Caribbean would also experience lower power valleys with expanded interconnectivity schemes. The U.S.–Caribbean–South America super grid reduces Caribbean variability from 37.8% to 8.9% in the case study. The proposed spatiotemporal method for PV power profile estimation is a valuable tool for future solar power generation expansion, transmission planning, and system design considering the impact of hurricanes.