DISTRIBUTED GENERATION, BENEFICIAL OR DETRIMENTAL TO GRIDSECURITY, FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN SYSTEM OPERATORSPERSPECTIVE
Written and published for 5
South African Cigre Regional Conference 2005 by J H Muller,National Control, System Operator, Eskom Holdings, P O Box 103, Germiston, 1400, South Africa
The South African System Operator, which forms part of Eskom Transmission Division, is responsible for the management of the South African Interconnected Power System. This power system currently consist of more than 27300 km of transmission lines, not taking into account the underlying distribution system and 20PowerStation’s with the generating capacity of +-36000 MW. The role of the System Operator is to ensurecontinues quality supply of power to a range of customers, through managing the system in aneconomically, reliable, stabile and secure manner.Due to unpreceded load growth and a shift in focus to environmental issues in South Africa and thesurrounding regions, as well as the long distances power needs to be transported, the currentInterconnected Power System is becoming severely strained. This situation makes the effectivemanagement and operating thereof a complicated and difficult task. This is worsened by the fact that someterminal equipment is coming to the end of its effective life span and would need replacement or upgradingwithin the near future.Well planned, well placed Distributed Generation, connected to the Grid near load centres, forming part of an Energy Market, will make it possible to not only relief the ageing power system, but also offer effectivesolutions to current constraints on the South African Interconnected Power System.The System Operator due to its world class experience and skills in effectively managing one of the biggestinterconnections in the world, has an important role to play in co-ordinating the development,implementation and operation of this South African Interconnected Power System, so that it supports thesuccessful introduction of these new forms of generation.
2. DEFINITION FOR DISTRIBUTED GENERATION
For the purpose of this paper and in part based on the Cigre Definition, Distributed Generation can be seenas generation from 10 to 100 MW. This can be an individual generator or modules with a combined power output of 10 MW and more, installed at or near the load centres, connected to the transmission or distribution grid and could be synchronised with the system at a frequency of 50 HZ.This does not include any Demand Side Management load reduction agreements or contracts. Theresponsibility of the System Operator is to ensure continuity of supply to its customers. Demand SideManagement agreements result in un-served energy, which lead to the sum of the loss of income from notdelivering the supply and the payment to customers for reducing their load in times of high load, which of course affects the price of electricity to the consumer. This paper will focus on Distributed Generation andnot Distributed Resources, which includes Demand Side Management.
3. SOUTH AFRICAN INTERCONNECTED POWER SYSTEMPower System Profile
The South African Interconnected Power System is a combination of generation, transmission, distributionand rural electrical networks. The majority of the present generation capacity is concentrated in theMpumalanga area due to high deposits of coal. This generation hub is situated to the north east of wheremost of the load is situated known as the Central region. Additionally power is transferred over longdistances southwards to supply the Eastern, Southern and Western regions, which makes up approximatelya third of the total system demand. Figure 1 indicates the load centres on the Interconnected Power Systemand relevant transmission corridors between them.