The variable nature of the irradiance can produce significant fluctuations in the power generated by large grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) plants. Experimental 1 s data were collected throughout a year from six PV plants, 18 MWp in total. Then, the dependence of short (below 10 min) power fluctuation on PV plant size has been investigated. The analysis focuses on the study of fluctuation frequency as well as the maximum fluctuation value registered. An analytic model able to describe the frequency of a given fluctuation for a certain day is proposed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.