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02nd October 2011
Table of Contents
Table of Contents .................................................................................................................................... 2 List of Tables ........................................................................................................................................... 3 Executive Summary................................................................................................................................. 4 I. Introduction ......................................................................................................................................... 6 II. Future Grids ...................................................................................................................................... 10 II. Wind energy characteristics and integration into electricity grids ................................................... 12 Wind energy characteristics.......................................................................................................... 12 Wind integration in electricity grids ............................................................................................. 15 Wind, demand and capacity credit ............................................................................................... 16 Penetration metrics ...................................................................................................................... 18 IV. International practice, experience and studies ............................................................................... 22 Connecting wind into the grid ...................................................................................................... 22 Markets, operations and control .................................................................................................. 24 Experience of wind during faults .................................................................................................. 28 Integration studies ........................................................................................................................ 30 Models .......................................................................................................................................... 32 IV. Conclusions ...................................................................................................................................... 35 References ............................................................................................................................................ 36
List of Figures
Figure 1: Wind Installed Worldwide (GWEC, 2011) .......................................................................... 7 Figure 2: Impact of aggregation on wind variability. Time series of wind power output normalised for a single wind turbine, a group of wind power plants, and all wind power plants in Germany over a 10 day period in 2006(Wiser et al., 2011)........................................................ 13 Figure 3: Wind power output for Ireland, three days in May 2011, May average and typical yearly average...................................................................................................................................... 14 Figure 4: Average wind and demand normalised for (a) Ireland (one year data 2010) (b) ERCOT (one year data 2010) (c) New South Wales (six months data November 2010 to April 2011) (d) South Australia (six months data, November 2010 to April 2011). ................................................ 17 Figure 5: Wind capacity credit for several sample systems, details of data sources can be found in (Holttinen et al., 2009). ................................................................................................................... 18 Figure 6: Four days of wind and demand South Australia. Instantaneous penetration (excluding exports) (%) also shown..................................................................................................................... 21
List of Tables
Table 1 - Penetration Metrics ................................................................................................................................... 19
Glossary AC – Alternating Current AEMO – Australian Energy Market Operator BPA - Bonneville Power Administration CREZ – Competitive Renewable Energy Zones DC – Direct Current ERCOT – Electric Reliability Council of Texas HVDC – High Voltage Direct Current IEA – International Energy Agency IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change NEM – National Electricity Market NTNDP – National Transmission Network Development Plan PV - Photovoltaic ROCOF – Rate of Change of Frequency UCTE – Union for the Coordination of the Transmission of Electricity
Executive Summary The National Electricity Market (NEM) in Australia in common with many other countries/regions is facing a potential dramatic increase in wind energy. There has been an average 30 % annual increase in installed wind over the past decade and a predicted fourfold increase to the existing 1.75 GW of wind over the next 20 years. With an emphasis on learning from experiences in other parts of the world, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is conducting a number of studies to understand the technical issues that might arise when integrating wind into the NEM. This report covers the first of these and summarizes international practice and experience in dealing with high levels of wind integrated into electricity grids. It focuses mainly on the physical and technical issues, real experience and practice where available and/or on modelling and analysis conducted internationally. Wind is variable over all time scales and difficult to predict accurately over long time horizons. However, aggregating wind across a system will dramatically reduce the level of variability and improve its predictability. Wind turbine technology controllability with respect to real power is limited, being able to dispatch down but can only dispatch up if they spill energy. Their reactive power capability with the power electronic converters is significant, however they lack inertial response, although there are now designs that are proposing to provide emulated inertial response. If wind is compatible with the grid in certain respects this will make integration easier. Simple penetration metrics can be useful in assessing the integration challenge and show that the Iberian Peninsula has probably the highest wind penetration in the world, with South Australia coming a close second with Ireland. Maintaining high connection standards via good grid codes will enable more wind to be connected in the long term. New transmission capacity is generally required to integrate wind into grids but there is opposition to traditional Alternating Current (AC) overhead lines and economically justifying the transmission investment for a low capacity factor resource like wind is challenging. It is well recognized that dealing with a number of wind energy projects together and grouping them into one technical solution has a lot of advantages and there are good practical examples of this in Texas and Ireland. With increasing wind penetration levels it is beneficial to deploy state of the art forecasting systems and there may also be a need for new electricity market designs. Some of the more advanced operating techniques such as stochastic unit commitment using ensemble forecasts and dynamic reserve requirements are evolving from research
topics into demonstrations. Wind introduces the possibility of a large but slow event due to an unexpected ramps that are driving the industry to try and quantify flexibility and question whether existing reserve provision is adequate to maintain reliability. As more and more wind (asynchronous) generation is connected to electricity grids they will displace conventional (synchronous) generation. This displacement will need to be managed carefully to ensure that the ancillary services provided by the conventional generation are replaced by alternatives. Wind generation itself can provide some of these ancillary services. As synchronous generation is displaced with more and more power electronic coupled asynchronous generation the total inertial response is reduced which results in larger speed changes for the same power imbalances. From an implementation point of view using wind farms to control voltage on the transmission system is common in many countries. What is not so common is the coordination of large numbers of wind generators actively controlling the voltage on the distribution system. The growth of wind energy with its variable and predictability characteristics coupled with its technical characteristics have led to concerns and claims that that it is adding too much uncertainty to the system and will result in blackouts. There is so far no experience to support this claim, however there are a number of instances where wind has contributed negatively. These events are important as lessons can be learnt and operating and planning practices can be further improved to avoid these in the future. In particular the need for extensive monitoring of wind generation and other elements on the electricity grid is important. Many of the integration and modelling studies have focused more on the market side than the technical side. This was driven initially by a desire to quantify the cost of integration but as penetration levels rise this is giving way to more technical studies. Cost benefit analysis studies show that it is not economically justified to invest in bulk energy storage until very high energy penetrations where wind is being curtailed significantly. Additional benefits of storage need to fully quantified and compared with alternatives, in order to determine if storage is a good investment. As the integrity of the power system in many instances depends on relying on the predictions of models it is imperative that the models are well validated against robust measurements. The trend is for detailed, validated models for specialized studies and standard models, developed and supported by software vendors with parameters supplied by manufacturers for large-scale system studies.
I. Introduction Australia in common with many other countries/regions is facing a potential dramatic increase in wind energy. The vast majority of this wind is being integrated into existing electricity grids. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)1 manages the National Electricity Market (NEM) and the retail and wholesale gas markets of eastern and south eastern Australia, oversees system security of the NEM electricity grid and is national transmission planner for electricity (covering the eastern and southern states of Australia). The NEM’s electricity grid is primarily Alternating Current (AC), spanning 5000 kms connecting the eastern and south eastern states of Australia , with some small Direct Current (DC) interconnectors for support, and a 600 MW DC link connecting the island state of Tasmania. Australia has seen an average 30 % annual increase in installed wind over the past decade and the 2010 National Transmission Network Development Plan (NTNDP) shows the possibility of a fourfold increase to the existing 1.75 GW of wind generation in the NEM over the next 20 years (NTNDP, 2010). In all scenarios reported in the NTNDP there are significant increases in wind energy across the whole NEM. In particular due to the excellent wind resource Tasmania and South Australia expect to see the most significant growth in wind power in all scenarios studied. At the top end of the range the NTNDP suggests that South Australia may have 4.405 GW of wind installed by 2030 resulting in significant numbers of hours where wind energy production would be expected to exceed demand. Indeed even taking an average scenario South Australia would still have some hours where wind production would be expected to exceed demand. Tasmania is similar to South Australia in many respects but has some additional relevant characteristics. Most importantly it is a small (1.94 GW) island system connected to the mainland by a DC link (630 MW export, and 480 MW import). Three other states, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland may have significant increases in wind energy but are not expected to reach levels where wind energy exceeds demand until after 2030. Much has been learnt in other parts of the world concerning the impacts and issues that arise when integrating wind energy into electricity grids. Therefore, with an emphasis on learning from experiences in other parts of the world, AEMO is conducting a number of studies to understand the technical issues that might arise when integrating wind into the NEM. This report covers the first of these, international practice and
experience. Others include a review of grid codes, analysis of historic wind data, a wind impact study and a congestion study. Wind energy is on a dramatic growth path in many parts of the world (GWEC, 2010). At the end of 2010 there were 194.4 GW installed worldwide (Figure 1) 22 % (35.2 GW) increase on 2009. The growth in 2010 was led by China (16.5 GW), United States (5.1 GW), India (2.1 GW), Spain (1.5 GW) and Germany (1.5 GW). In absolute terms the ranking on installed capacity basis by the end of 2010 was China (42.3 GW), United States (40.2 GW), Germany (27.2 GW), Spain (20.7 GW) and India (13.1 GW).
Figure 1: Wind Installed Worldwide (GWEC, 2011) Wind is still relatively expensive but is becoming more competitive, in particular where there are good wind resources and alternatives are expensive (Wiser et al., 2011). This growth is driven in large part by government or state policy decisions relating to the three imperatives of energy policy: climate change, energy security and economic competitiveness. For example the European Union climate and energy package set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % on 1990 levels, reduce primary energy use compared to projected levels by 20 % by improving energy efficiency and to produce 20 % of all energy (electricity, transport and heat) from renewable energy
sources, all by the year 20202. Renewable energy sources for heat and transport are comparatively limited and large parts of Europe (particular along the west coast) have a good wind resource. Therefore the European Union renewable target is resulting in some very high wind energy targets in electricity in individual countries. For example in Ireland the target is 38 % electricity from wind by 2020 (NREAP, 2009). In the United States Renewable portfolio standards in 29 States3 in conjunction with the federal production tax credit is driving the wind power growth (Wiser and Bollinger, 2011). China has a renewable energy law that encourages renewable energy including wind (Junfeng et al., 2010). Australia has a renewable energy target of 20% electricity from renewable energy sources by 20204. The targets are for retailers and suppliers through a renewable energy certificate scheme, with penalties for not meeting targets, and are split into a large scale and small scale targets in a ratio of approximately ten to one. It is predicted that most of it will be from large scale wind energy projects due to its economic viability relative to other technologies. In February 2011, the Australian Government announced its intention to introduce a two-stage process to pricing CO2 and equivalent emissions, initially involving a carbon price, commencing July 2012 for three years, followed by the introduction of a cap and trade scheme5. The introduction of a carbon price will significantly impact the energy market, and in particular the operating costs of highly intensive CO2 generation such as brown and black coal-fired stations. Solar energy is also growing strongly in some parts of the world. In 2010, 16.6 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) was installed giving a total of approximately 40 GW installed worldwide. This trend is dominated by Germany with 7.4 GW installed in 2010 giving a total of 17.2 GW (EPIA, 2011), over 40 % of the total installed worldwide. Concentrating solar is also starting to grow but from an extremely small base. Solar PV shares many of the same characteristics as wind with similar integration challenges. Concentrating solar differs substantially from solar PV and wind with regard to its integration characteristics. In particular, its generation technology is typically synchronous like conventional plant6 and typically has thermal storage allowing a significant level of dispatch. Under the Solar Flagships Program, the Australian Government has set aside AUS$1.5 billion to establish up to 1 GW of large scale grid connected solar power, both PV and concentrating solar.7 More details on these and other renewable sources, their impact on electricity grids and the policy background
http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/package/index_en.htm http://www.dsireusa.org/summarymaps/index.cfm?ee=1&RE=1 4 http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/government/reduce.aspx 5 Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. “Multi-Party Climate Change Committee”. Available http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/initiatives/multi-party-committee.aspx. 6 Conventional plant here represents steam units, combustion and water turbines with synchronous generators. 7 http://www.ret.gov.au/energy/clean/cei/sfp/Pages/sfp.aspx
can be found in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (IPCC, 2011). More than almost any other product or service the coupling between the physical and technical aspects of electricity grids and the associated markets is extremely strong. This is driven by the characteristics of electricity grids where real time power balance between supply and demand is fundamentally important as electricity pragmatically cannot be stored. Also in order to reliably deliver energy in the form of electricity requires a number of other services to be provided in parallel and in real time. These are collectively called ancillary services and include reactive power, spinning reserves etc. (Rebours et al., 2007a & 2007b ). From a purely economic perspective electricity is a very capital intensive industry requiring very substantial investments in generation technologies. It also requires significant investment in the electricity grid itself which acts as the delivery mechanism between the generators and the demand. This is a shared investment that has to be paid for collectively. With increasing levels of wind energy many aspects of the technical challenges can be solved through market mechanisms that incentivize appropriate investment and performance in technical capability. It should be noted that there are a wide variety of levels of maturity of electricity market designs in the world and it is outside the scope of this report to elaborate on how these different designs impact on wind integration. This report summarizes international practice and experience in dealing with high levels of wind integrated into electricity grids, identifying the issues and the challenges. It focuses mainly on the physical and technical issues, real experience and practice where available and/or on modelling and analysis conducted internationally, where these studies bring out relevant technical issues that should be addressed. The report is a resource to AEMO to identify what is going on elsewhere that may be important for Australia. Section II gives a brief introduction of future grids as it is important to consider other developments in grids in tandem with wind integration. Section III describes wind energy characteristics, integration and penetration metrics. Section IV gives details of international practice, experience and studies in wind integration and Section V concludes. An extensive list of references is also provided.
II. Future Grids Electricity grids are fundamental to a modern society, are reasonably well understood in their function, design and operation and are pervasive across the world (El Sharkawi, 2009). However, they can differ dramatically in terms of their scale and level of development, both physically and from a regulatory, institutional and market perspective. Here we will focus on the most advanced, large scale electricity grids that facilitate competitive electricity markets and in particular the changes that are shaping the future grids. Generation and demand balance, both real and reactive, through an electricity grid must be maintained on an almost instantaneous basis to ensure system reliability. This almost real time balance is at the heart of the challenges that exist when integrating any form of generation or demand into an electricity grid. Electricity grids maintain instantaneous supply demand balance of real power through the buffering characteristics of the kinetic energy stored in the synchronous rotation masses of the synchronous generators and to a lesser extent some asynchronous generation (i.e. induction generators not connected via power electronics) and some loads. The vast majority of generation connected to an electricity grid is AC and synchronous but this is also changing with more generation interfaced via power electronic converters asynchronously, in particular wind generation and solar PV. More and more loads are also being connected via power electronics and this is also tending to diminish the contribution to the synchronous kinetic energy of the system. Real power imbalances is reflected in the frequency and electricity grids have frequency ranges within which they are designed to operate. In larger systems these frequency ranges are very small because allowing large frequency deviations on a large system is equivalent to large amounts of energy. On smaller systems the allowable frequency range is much larger. For example the Irish system allows a steady state variation of system frequency of 0.1 Hz whereas on the North American Eastern Interconnection a frequency deviation of half this would only result for a major loss of generation. By comparison, NEM standards, in Australia, allow normal frequency variations by up to 0.15 Hz not to exceed this for more than 1% of the time and for a generation or load contingency, no more than 0.5 Hz for the mainland and of 2.0 Hz for Tasmania8. In contrast to frequency, which is a global phenomenon, voltage is determined by reactive power balance locally.
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Electricity grids began as small systems but the advantages of sharing resources to maintain supply demand balance led to increasing amounts of interconnection between grids. This interconnection is almost entirely synchronous and many large interconnected electricity grids exist today e.g. Continental European System9. Asynchronous interconnection via a DC link is also possible and on occasions is preferable to AC, for example undersea connection like the one from the Australian mainland to Tasmania. Also within AC systems DC is increasingly being used for point to point connections. These changes in the grid from a largely synchronous system to one with more asynchronous generation, and DC raises some very interesting questions for the future grids. For example do the characteristics of the system change so much that standard operating procedures need to be altered and when do the existing analysis tools used in power system planning and operations become inadequate and need to be replaced? These questions are only starting to be asked with some limited results being reported in the academic literature (e.g. see Vittal et al., 2011). The supply reliability that modern electricity grids provide is extremely high, it is rare that individual customers are disconnected and it is extremely rare that whole system experience a blackout. This is achieved by ensuring a degree of redundancy in the electricity grid at the planning and operational time frames. In most grids this is typically applied as the N-1 criterion: i.e. you can lose one of the N significant elements without any impact to the security of the system. This is implemented and probed at all stages of planning and operation using detailed engineering models of the electricity grid. This deterministic criteria is also being questioned with more probabilistic methods being proposed for the future grids (CIGRE, 2010). Global growth in energy use in the form of electricity is at a higher rate than the underlying growth in primary energy use (IEA, 2010). Modernisation and urbanisation is a primary driver of this trend but so also are the policies being pursued globally with respect to renewable energy and emissions reduction. For example decarbonisation of the transport sector may be achieved through the introduction of electric vehicles, heat pumps are growing in popularity and in general many renewable sources are easier to deliver through electricity grids than in the heat and transport markets. In addition there are strong policies driving energy efficiency and promoting more demand side participation (IEA, 2011a; ADS, 2011). Therefore electricity grids are evolving rapidly and should be significantly different in the near future. These changes need to be considered when analyzing the integration of renewable energy sources.
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II. Wind energy characteristics and integration into electricity grids
A comprehensive review of state of the art in wind energy can be found in the recent IPCC report (Wiser et al., 2011). Here we will concentrate on those characteristics of wind energy that are important from an integration perspective.
Wind energy characteristics
The most obvious characteristic of wind is its variability across all time horizons (seconds, hours, days, weeks, months, years). This is an important characteristic from the supply demand balance perspective and is largely irrelevant until the penetration levels reach a level where the variability is greater than the variability from the demand side and other generation sources. This variability will be different for different locations, driven by weather patterns and the topography. Wind turbine generators are designed to have minimum and maximum wind speed and minimum temperature capabilities, so the conversion from wind speed to wind power is nonlinear and hence the variability characteristics of wind power is significantly different from that of wind speed. However from a system perspective it is not the variability of individual wind plants that is important but their aggregation across the system, Figure 2. Aggregating wind across a system will dramatically reduce the level of variability essentially smoothing it out over all time frames but will only be significant if the required transmission is available and if the geographical footprint is large enough to reduce the correlation.
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Figure 2: Impact of aggregation on wind variability. Time series of wind power output normalised for a single wind turbine, a group of wind power plants, and all wind power plants in Germany over a 10 day period in 2006(Wiser et al., 2011). Variability of wind energy means that the average output will be well below the rated value. Capacity factors (average value as a percentage of rated value) range from below 20 % in Germany (Boccard, 2009) to above 30 % in the US (Wiser and Bollinger, 2011). On the Australian mainland, capacity factors are around 30%, with Tasmanian wind farms showing capacity factors typically over 35%. As the technology improves there is a upward trend in the capacity factor, but this is limited by the underlying resource (Wiser et al., 2011). Capacity factors have seasonal and daily trends but are also highly variable (Ebsworth et al., 2011). For example the capacity factor in Ireland for a May 2010 was 16 % and in May 2011 it was 47 %. Wind power output for three days in May 2011, for Ireland are shown below in Figure 3 along with average wind power for the month and a typical yearly average. Figure 3 highlights that with high penetrations of wind every day from a system operator perspective can be different i.e. sometimes the wind is low, sometimes high etc. More research is required to determine if it climate change will have a long term impact on wind characteristics (Pryor and Barthelmie, 2010).
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Figure 3: Wind power output for Ireland, three days in May 2011, May average and typical yearly average10 Another very important issue is wind's predictability and combined with its variability wind is sometimes referred to as intermittent (NER, 2011). Knowing what will happen in the future will make the power system easier to operate and more economical. Therefore forecasting of wind is an important tool in its integration. Forecasting over short time frames is not challenging as wind, even on an individual plant basis, is relatively constant. Aggregation (Figure 2) reduces the variability and hence improves the forecasting performance (Giebel, 2011). Wind turbine technology has evolved over the years. Initially they were simple fixed speed, typically induction generator technology (NREL, 2010a) and system operators required them to trip off the system during faults as this was deemed to be the best strategy from a system perspective. With increasing penetration of wind this is not a prudent strategy and now there is a requirement to ride through faults. Modern wind turbine technology is typically variable speed, interfaced to the grid through power electronic converters. There is considerable effort being made to make the power electronic devices associated with wind turbines sufficiently robust, along with control strategies, to allow wind turbines to ride through faults, while at the same time providing support to the local grid through reactive current injection. However there is a cost associated with this and it is important that the fault ride through requirements do not push this cost up to levels where the wind generators become uneconomic. In addition to fault ride through capability modern wind turbines are controllable in many
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respects. Their controllability with respect to real power is limited, being able to dispatch down but can only dispatch up and provide reserve if they are spilling energy or are re-designed to provide a temporary overload capability, both of which come at a cost. Their reactive power capability with the power electronic converters is significant. They do however lack inertial response although there are now designs that are proposing to provide emulated inertial response by slowing the turbine down in a controlled manner (Miller et al., 2010).
Wind integration in electricity grids
Wind integration in electricity grids and variations on the phrase are commonly used with a broad interpretation ranging from the very technical all the way to social issues (Krewitt et al., 2011; Wiser et al., 2011). It is a very active research topic with many open questions (Holttinen et al., 2009). Grid integration of wind will be successful if the performance of the grid is enhanced or at a minimum maintained at a reasonable cost. Cost and performance are strongly related but cost is largely a market and/or a policy issue which must be addressed, but is not the main focus in this report. The grid is a complex system, large and pervasive with interactions between all the different elements and across time. Therefore quantifying the impact on performance and cost can be very difficult and challenging. For example short term operational issues such as excessive cycling of plant to maintain supply demand balance may have long term consequences for system performance and costs (Troy et al., 2010; Parks, 2011). Integration is essentially a compatibility issue. If wind is compatible with the grid in certain respects this will make integration easier. Ideally when wind is integrated overall grid performance will be enhanced and costs will be reduced. This ideal case is far from the reality and therefore a large set of tradeoffs must be made before conclusions can be made regarding the integration impacts. When any technology is connected to the grid there are a number of basic characteristics that will determine how compatible it is with the rest of the grid. The extent to which it supports, or is supported by, the grid and other resources will determine the level of ease or difficulty of integration. These characteristics are briefly summarised here. If it is a generator and its output can correlate well with demand then it makes it easier to integrate (see Figure 4 below). If it contributes to supporting the system at least as well as other generators it may replace then it is easy to integrate.
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If it causes harmful events on the system, or when a harmful event occurs and it makes that event worse, it is difficult to integrate as other resources must respond to maintain the integrity of the system. If its need for network capacity, including the coordination of control and protection systems, is not excessive compared to other generators then it is easy to integrate.
Overall if it is a "good team player" then it is easier to integrate. It should be pointed out that as with all teams there are specialists’ skills that not all team members need but some must have. For example, nuclear energy plants tend not to be flexible and the system relies on other generators to provide the needed flexibility e.g. gas generation. In winds case there are certain features that are, perhaps, not cost effective to provide and hence from a team perspective other resources need to provide them. Therefore analysis of wind integration is not only an analysis of the wind characteristics but of the system as a whole. Grid codes are a set of standards that prescribe performance requirements for equipment connecting to the electricity grids. They are not called grid codes everywhere e.g. in the US elements are referred to as interconnection requirements (NERC, 2009). Maintaining high standards in these codes will enable more wind to be connected in the long term as poor grid codes at the start undermine the ability of the system to integrate wind at a later date. More details of grid codes can be found in ECAR (2011).
Wind, demand and capacity credit
Figure 4 below illustrates that different systems have differing levels of correlation between wind and demand which will impact on the ability to be able to integrate wind into grids. Texas wind is poorly correlated with the demand making integration more difficult than the case in Ireland where wind is highly correlated with wind. New South Wales is similar to Ireland but South Australia is much more like Texas. This characteristic will manifest itself in the capacity credit calculations
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Figure 4: Average wind and demand normalised for (a) Ireland (one year data 2010) (b) ERCOT (one year data 2010) (c) New South Wales (six months data November 2010 to April 2011) (d) South Australia (six months data, November 2010 to April 2011). An important system characteristic of a generation resource is its capacity credit (also known as capacity value). Capacity credit can be defined as the amount of additional demand that can be served due to the addition of the generator, while maintaining levels of reliability (Keane et al., 2011a; NERC, 2011a). High capacity factors and high correlation between wind and demand, in particular at the highest demand hours, will result in high capacity credits. For example, Figure 4 above indicates that ERCOT wind may have a lower capacity credit than wind in Ireland. Capacity credits ranges from 5 to 40 % and due to the correlation between the wind plants the incremental capacity credit of wind will decline as more wind is installed , Figure 5. Capacity credits also vary on a yearly basis in a similar manner to capacity factors (Hasche et al., 2011).
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Figure 5: Wind Capacity Credit for several sample systems details of data sources can be found in (Holttinen et al.,2009)
Penetration metrics From an integration perspective absolute numbers are not that meaningful. It is the relative amounts of wind with respect to the system size, and other comparative measures (e.g. correlation, see Figure 4 above), that are important and this can be expressed in many useful ways through penetration metrics. There are many possible penetration metrics, with a few described below. Capacity penetration (%) - is the installed capacity of wind as a percentage of total installed generation. This measure gives a relative measure of the wind to the rest of the system but fail to capture the capacity factor or operational penetration levels. Energy penetration (%) - is taken as the ratio of annual wind energy to annual total energy demand on the grid (excludes any net exports). This metric captures the capacity factor and operating penetration levels but as an average measure fails to account for the extremes. Maximum instantaneous penetration (%) - is the maximum observed ratio of wind energy to demand (including exports) over a defined period (typically one year) at any instant in time (typically on an hour/ half hourly intervals). This metric captures the extreme of wind generation relative to other generation as exports are included. This metric can be reported excluding exports but can be misleading and is defined here as Maximum instantaneous penetration (excluding exports) (%). Both these metrics differ from the others as they are observed values which makes them somewhat more meaningful.
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Maximum possible instantaneous penetration (%) - is the ratio of maximum wind (i.e. installed capacity) to minimum demand, assuming zero exports. Maximum wind, minimum demand and zero exports is highly unlikely and this is truly an extreme value. Therefore Söder et al., (2007) modified this metric to include maximum export defined here as the Söder Metric - the ratio of maximum wind (i.e. installed capacity) to minimum demand plus maximum export.
Capacity penetration (%) Ireland Iberian Peninsula Western Denmark ERCOT South Australia Tasmania Crete 16.36 20.88 34.95 11.40 22.06 5.06 16
Energy penetration (%) 10.00 15.00 30.00 8.00 20.00 5.00 15.1
Maximum instantaneous penetration (excluding exports) (%) > 50 > 55 >100 > 25 > 80 > 15 % > 40
Maximum possible instantaneous penetration (%) 81.82 99.30 195.71 27.43 118.63 18.04 57.14
Söder Metric (%) 67.92 93.76 59.05 26.61 67.08 9.96 57.14
Table 1: Penetration Metrics for Ireland, Iberian Peninsula, West Denmark, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), South Australia and Tasmania and Crete11.
Table 1 reports some of these metrics for a number of high wind systems. Some interesting observations can made. Western Denmark is often quoted as having one the highest penetration levels of wind in the world. On the energy penetration metric it provides approximately 30 % energy, compared with numbers closer to 20 % for Denmark as a whole which is the highest in the world for a country. However with 2.58 GW of interconnection and efficient markets it is possible to export most of the 2.74 GW wind energy and effectively integrate it into Norway, Sweden, Germany and the rest of Denmark. It is well known that when the wind is blowing in West Denmark there are http://www.eirgrid.com, http://www.ren.pt, http://www.ree.es, http://www.energinet.dk, http://www.ercot.com, http://www.aemo.com.au,
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large exports from the area (Lund, 2010). Therefore the Energy penetration metric in this case could be misleading, so also could the Maximum instantaneous penetration metric (excluding exports) which has been observed at over 100 % (Söder et al., 2007) and coincides with times of very low prices, sometimes negative and likely exporting (Ackermann and Morthorst, 2005). Potentially equally misleading is the Maximum possible instantaneous penetration metric as it is nearly 200 % (i.e. if wind could supply twice as much energy as the demand). The Söder metric is a more modest 59 % can be calculated without any observations and is possibly more meaningful. Possibly the most meaningful metric of all, Maximum instantaneous penetration is not reported in Table 1 as the observations are difficult to source. Assuming the Söder metric to be potentially the most useful with regard to ranking the integration challenge the Iberian Peninsula is a clear winner followed by Ireland and South Australia then Western Denmark, ERCOT, Tasmania and Crete. Figure 6 below illustrates the very high penetration levels in one of these systems, South Australia, where the instantaneous penetration (excluding exports) reaches 60 %. It should also be noted that since solar PV shares many of the same characteristics as wind then a more meaningful set of metrics may be those that combine wind and solar PV e.g. Crete has 40 MW of solar PV which is significant when compared to its 160 MW of wind and the Iberian Peninsula has 3.9 GW of solar PV which is also significant when compared to the 23.5 GW of wind. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently published a report on integration of variable renewable and has proposed flexibility metric (IEA, 2011b). Flexibility is the ability of a system to deploy its resources to respond to changes in net demand, where net demand is the remaining system demand not served by variable generation. Quantifying flexibility in a power system in order to assess the ability of the system to integrate variable renewable energy sources such as wind is becoming a very active research topic (Lannoye et al., 2011; NERC, 2010a).
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Figure 6: Four days of wind and demand South Australia. Instantaneous penetration (excluding exports) (%) also shown12
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IV. International practice, experience and studies Table 1 above indicates that there are many places in the world with very high wind penetrations and therefore have developed practices and gained experiences that is invaluable to others. Below we capture and summarise some of these practices, experiences and studies.
Connecting wind into the grid
In many parts of the world transmission is planned so as to accept injections from generators on nearly all occasions. For a low capacity factor resource, such as wind, it is more difficult to economically justify this type of transmission investment as the per MWh cost of the transmission will be high. For example, in the scoping study to identify needed transmission investment in the Texas, Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) it was assumed that an arbitrary 2 % wind curtailment would occur as it was recognised that to build transmission to take wind all of the time would probably be uneconomic (Kirby, 2007). More advanced techniques are being developed where curtailment is embedded in an objective manner into the analysis (Burke and O'Malley, 2011). Industry is developing transmission planning techniques that analyse the transmission system on a yearly basis at hourly or lower resolution and apply an economic value based approach (MISO, 2010). This approach has also been applied across continental scale systems and show that combination of a good wind resource (e.g. in the Midwest of the United States) and long distance transmission (e.g. to the cities on the coasts) is an economically viable proposition (JCSP, 2009). Strong policy motivations particularly in Europe are resulting in transmission expansion plans being influenced by climate change and other policy objectives13.
The best wind resources are typically remote from demand and in locations where there is little existing generation. This necessitates the building of new transmission. However, due in part to public opposition (Devine-Wright et al., 2010), it is difficult in many places to build traditional AC overhead lines. Undergrounding has been proposed as a solution but technical issues and high costs may make it infeasible (Buijs et al., 2011; EASAC, 2009). Denmark has recently made a political decision that all transmission will be buried in the future and are currently burying all 132 - 150 kV lines (EnerginetDK, 2009). For the Australian context, the distances are much larger and the burying of transmission would be very expensive and technically not feasible.
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Wind plant can be built faster than the required transmission, which in some countries is leading to wind plant being heavily constrained until such time as the required transmission is built. For example, of the over 40 GW of wind generation capacity in China only slightly over 30 GW is integrated as much of the required transmission has not yet been completed. Waiting till enough wind to justify the building of transmission is impeding the development of wind generation. Wind curtailment in Texas was 8 % in 2010 and 17 % in 2009 mainly due to lack of transmission (Wiser and Bollinger, 2011). It was this type of high levels of curtailment in the early part of the century that spurred Texas to initiate a proactive scheme to alleviate this problem. The CREZ is a mechanism that identifies zones rich in renewable energy (mainly wind) and provides transmission in advance of the plants being built (CREZ, 2010). A high level planning study was conducted to identify which areas of Texas were most suited to the development of wind power and what transmission infrastructure would be required to bring the power to the population centres. Five CREZ zones have been identified and require significant transmission build (US$4.9B) as the wind resource is remote from the population centres. The CREZ transmission projects consist of over 2,300 circuit miles of new 345-kV transmission and are targeted for completion by the end of 2013 and will facilitate 18.5GW of wind power in Texas, a doubling of the existing installed capacity.
Should connection to the grid be on a first come first served basis (i.e. sequentially) and should each application be dealt with in isolation of others ? These are difficult regulatory questions but from a technical perspective it is well recognized that dealing with a number of wind energy projects together and grouping them into one technical solution has a lot of advantages (Keane and O'Malley, 2005; Burke and O'Malley, 2011). A grouping paradigm known as the 'Gate' process for grid connections has been adopted in Ireland. Within this 'Gate' process applications for connections are processed in groups (i.e. Gates) rather than sequentially. Within these gates, there is a further subdivision into groups and sub groups based on location and the optimal network required to connect them. There have been three Gates so far with the most recent 'Gate 3' dealing with 3.9GW of wind generation (NREAP, 2009). As a significant proportion of the wind in Ireland is connecting to both the transmission and distribution system the 'Gate' process is coordinated across both systems. This Gate process is also consistent with a larger strategic transmission development plan 'Grid 25' (EirGrid, 2008). However despite all these initiatives significant difficulties still persist in building the required transmission.
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Markets, operations and control As wind has zero incremental cost economic theory would say that it will depress the marginal price of electricity and displace conventional generation. This is being experienced in many markets already (Munksgaard and Morthorst, 2008; Sensfuß et al., 2008). However there are other times when prices should go very high and volatility will increase thus changing price patterns and revenue streams. With wind generation that is variable and somewhat unpredictable the need for ancillary services will grow pushing up their value. Wind generation itself can provide some of these ancillary services (Keane et al., 2011b; Miller et al., 2010). All these changes may result in the need for new electricity market mechanisms. For example, it is widely accepted and experience has shown that having faster energy markets e.g. five minutes as opposed to 1 hour is beneficial in integrating wind energy as it incentives flexibility. In this respect the NEM is a model market. NEM however does not have a capacity market, relying on the energy market. In other regions there are dedicated capacity markets that may need to be redesigned with the changing price and revenue patterns. Congestion on the transmission system can be managed within the market, through correct pricing. In the US where formal markets exist locational marginal pricing is typically used. An interesting interaction between policy instruments to promote wind power and congestion management has been observed in many regions. For example in the United States there are a range of support mechanisms worth approximately $30 per MWh14. Hence prices have to go below negative $30 per MWh to encourage wind power to curtail to relieve congestion. Unlike the United States, Europe has not adopted locational pricing and this may be the cause of some of the congestion management issues that are appearing. In an extreme example, prices in Germany have reached negative €500 (Ernst et al., 2010). Unwanted loop flows occur in neighbouring countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic etc.) due to wind and solar in Germany and phase shifting transformers have been installed to stop them (Ernst et al., 2010; EWIS, 2010). The very recent experience in the Northwest of the United States where Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) under its environmental re dispatch scheme is curtailing wind power (without financial compensation) is a text book case of how complex the issues of curtailing wind power can become (BPA, 2011). The curtailment is being done in order to ensure BPA do not violate their environmental obligations associated with their extensive hydro generation assets. When water is spilled over a spillway at a dam,
It is hard to be give an exact value as it will depend on individual circumstances including the production tax credit, renewable energy certificates, power purchase agreement and additional state production incentives.
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it creates bubbles of air in the water that can be dissolved into the water and can cause physiological problems known as gas bubble trauma that can be fatal to fish. Other factors such as the inability of BPA to accept negative prices, the loss of production tax credits, the lack of fast sub hourly markets and larger balancing areas that can smooth variability (Figure 2) add to the complexities and highlight the need for coherent policy decisions in the area of integrating variable renewable energy sources. New operations and control tools and techniques are being developed and deployed in response to increasing levels of wind penetration (NERC, 2011b). Many power system installing state of the art forecasting systems to assist them in operating with increasing penetration levels (NERC, 2010b). Some of the more advanced operating techniques such as stochastic unit commitment using ensemble forecasts and dynamic reserve requirements are evolving from research topics into demonstrations (Meibom et al., 2011; Milligan et al., 2010; Gubina et al., 2009). Applications of advanced wind power forecasting in areas as diverse as congestion management, dynamic reserve requirements, trading and management of storage have been successfully demonstrated15. A particularly interesting application where localised wind forecasts are used to predict congestion may increase in importance as equipment and system limits are reached (Focken et al., 2009). Real time supply demand balance with increasing wind, and its variability and predictability characteristics, will be more challenging. Traditionally a contingency is a large almost instantaneous loss of a major generating and/or transmission asset and are managed by fast acting contingency reserves. The variability and unpredictability of the demand is not classified as a contingency but more of a small statistical slow variation around a well defined trend in demand and was managed by regulation reserve and/or fast energy markets. The variability and unpredictability of wind is also not classified as a contingency but introduces the possibility of large but slow events due to unexpected16 ramps. There are many reported ramp type events i.e. changes in wind output (typically not forecasted) that when combined with demand changes can be difficult to balance (Holttinen et al., 2009). These are the type of events that are driving the industry to try and quantify flexibility and question whether existing reserve provision is adequate to maintain reliability (NERC, 2010a; Milligan et al., 2010). Electricity grids have evolved over time to be compatible with conventional generator technologies and is designed around them. As more and more wind (asynchronous) is connected to electricity grids they will displace conventional (synchronous) generation. This displacement will need to be managed carefully to ensure that the ancillary
http://www.anemos-plus.eu/ An expected ramp may also cause operational difficulties but here we will focus on unexpected events.
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services provided by the conventional generation are replaced by alternatives. As mentioned above wind generation itself can provide some of these ancillary services. As mentioned above, any power imbalance between supply and demand is instantly made up by a synchronous inertial response (change in speed) of all these synchronous rotating masses and consequently a change in system frequency. Wind generation that are connected via power electronics (asynchronous generation) do not participate in this inertial response. Hence as synchronous generation is displaced with more and more power electronic coupled asynchronous generation the total inertial response is reduced which results in larger speed changes for the same power imbalances. Therefore with increasing wind penetration, the speed (i.e. frequency) of the system is more difficult to maintain within a small design range. This is particularly true of smaller systems as mentioned above. Ireland is a small system (peak demand less than 10 GW) and the impact of low inertia on frequency response has been observed (Dudurych, 2010b). Specifically the higher the instantaneous wind penetration level the more synchronous generation that is displaced, resulting in greater frequency excursions following the loss of generation. The ERCOT system in Texas, is a relatively small system (65GW peak demand) is lightly connected via High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) (1.08GW) to the North American Eastern Interconnection and Mexico (ERCOT, 2010; ERCOT, 2009) It has a significant wind penetration (approximately 8 % energy) and has also observed the decline in frequency response due to increasing wind penetration and hence fewer synchronous generators online (Sharma, 2011). However these declines are not impacting on reliability. Similar to Ireland and Texas, low inertia when wind displaces synchronous generation may be significant in Tasmania. Also if South Australia was to lose its synchronous link to the rest of the NEM it would be an island. If this was to occur at a time when there is a high instantaneous penetration of wind with a corresponding low amount of synchronous generation in South Australia the frequency response may be impacted. If South Australia was a net exporter/importer at the time then the frequency rise/fall may be more rapid than in the case with more synchronous generation. Therefore there is a need to plan for this in the future as wind energy penetration levels rise. For example, under-frequency load shedding schemes may need to be reviewed to ensure that under high wind and low inertia conditions they are able to cope with significantly higher rates of change of frequency. The actual practice of maintaining a certain level of synchronous generation online to maintain inertial response levels is not common now but may grow in the future. Practices like those in some of the Greek islands where the instantaneous penetration level is limited to approx 30 to 40 % do have the same effect of maintaining a certain amount of inertia on the system (Caralis and Zervos, 2007a). Hydro Quebec is a renewable dominated (> 90 % energy, mainly hydro) synchronous system in North
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America that is interconnected via 4 GW HVDC to the Eastern Interconnection in North America. As with all relatively small synchronous systems (37GW peak) frequency control is of concern. It is required by Hydro Quebec that wind generating plant must reduce frequency deviations at least the same as the inertial response of a conventional generator whose inertia constant equals 3.5 s (Hydro Quebec, 2009). While decreasing numbers of conventional synchronous generators has had an impact on frequency response it has not impacted significantly on how the systems are operated. The same cannot be said for voltage control as it is a local phenomenon as opposed to frequency control which is global. One of the best examples of this is Western Denmark which has experienced many occasions of over 100 % instantaneous penetration (Söder et al., 2007). Not only is wind displacing large synchronous generators but so also is combined heat and power and much of this at lower voltage levels making voltage control at the transmission system more difficult. As a consequence EnerginetDK the Danish system operator operates with three must-run conventional power plants for voltage control steady state and dynamic. This is based on experience rather than calculation and is costing an estimated yearly cost of €30M (Abildgaard and Borza, 2010). Using the reactive power control capability of modern wind turbines it has been shown that with increasing wind penetrations voltage stability margins can be maintained or improved (Vittal et al., 2010). From an implementation point of view using wind farms to control voltage on the transmission system is common in many countries. What is not so common is the coordination of large numbers of wind generators actively controlling the voltage on the distribution system (Keane et al., 2011b). Spain has had a particular reliability concern relating to the inability of the older wind turbines to ride through faults, highlighting the need for minimum standards in grid codes. Spain and its neighbour, Portugal, both share the Iberian Peninsula which is very weakly connected to the Continental European System via a relatively small (approximately 1.2 GW) connection to France. Both countries have very high wind penetrations (approximately 15 % energy) and combined have almost 25GW of wind installed Table 1. In Spain all wind farms are required to connect to a control centre, (Portugal has a similar regime) these control centres in turn are connected to a dedicated control centre for "non-conventional" generation (Morales et al., 2008). Maximum instantaneous penetration levels are calculated based on many criteria including stability, voltage limits and short circuit levels and via the decentralised control centres these limits are imposed by curtailing the wind.
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Experience of wind during faults The vast majority of the time electricity grids are operating in a normal manner. However significant effort both at a planning and operation stage is dedicated to ensuring that during any fault situation the system survives the initial fault, does not result in a cascading set of failures leading to a blackout situation and returns to a normal operating state as soon as possible. There are many examples in the world of electricity grids not achieving this, for example the North American Eastern Interconnection and Italian blackouts in 2003 (Bialek, 2007). The cause of these blackouts are numerous, complex and many are subject to intense debate. The growth of wind energy with its variable and predictability characteristics coupled with its technical characteristics (e.g. lack of inertial response in the more modern devices and lack of reactive power control in the older designs) have led to concerns and claims that that it is adding too much uncertainty to the system and will result in blackouts. There is so far no experience to support this claim, however there are a number of instances where wind has contributed negatively. These events are important as lessons can be learnt so as operating and planning practices can be further improved to avoid these in the future. One of the most significant of these events occurred in ERCOT in February 2008 where their emergency electric curtailment plan was called on to maintain supply demand balance (Ela and Kirby, 2008). Three factors contributed, a poor demand forecast, unexpected loss of a conventional generation and a poor wind forecast. It is important to note that no customer was curtailed involuntarily. Some customers were curtailed as part of frequency control service, emphasising a growing trend of the demand side providing ancillary services in future grids (IEA, 2011a; ADS, 2011). Also the wind forecast at the time were provided by the market participants while there was a centralized forecasting system on trial at the time that had a more accurate prediction of the wind that would have improved the situation. Therefore while wind was a contributing factor better forecasting will reduce the risk of it happening again. In January 2005 Western Denmark had a storm event where 1,800 MW of wind was unexpectedly lost over a six hour period of time due to a storm front (Akhmatov et al., 2007). This highlights the fact that geographical aggregation and reduced variability can be offset if the wind turbines are distributed in a way that they can all experience a single weather event. The wind forecasts were predicting high winds but did not expect it to be high enough to cause the wind plant to cut out. Reserves were called on and no customers were shed. But as noted earlier Western Denmark has relatively speaking very large interconnector capacity, and good markets to access reserves, which may not be the case in other poorly interconnected systems (e.g., Iberian Peninsula and South
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Australia, see Table 1). Pre-emptively curtailing the wind in advance of such high wind speed events may be the best strategy in systems with limited resources and poor interconnection, but this requires good extreme wind event forecasting and this is the subject of intense research efforts (Giebel et al., 2011). It is not possible to entirely remove the risk as wind forecasting will always have errors and the rare extreme wind event will continue to occur. This points to a need to plan and operate around this possibility. The uncontrolled operation of dispersed generation (mainly wind and combined heat and power) did complicate the recovery after Union for the Coordination of the Transmission of Electricity (UCTE) event of November 2006 (UCTE, 2006). The UCTE system split in three (significantly sized systems) with under frequency in two areas and over frequency in one area. In one area the frequency fell to 49 HZ and as a significant proportion of the wind was installed when grid code requirements were not as strict they were designed to trip off at below 49.5Hz. Hence a significant amount of wind tripped, and while not helping the situation it did what it was designed to do. When the frequency recovered the automatic reconnection of the wind in this area caused over frequency problems. This highlights the need to ensure fault ride through capability and more control and observability of wind generation throughout the system i.e. transmission and distribution connected. It was also noted that crosscontinental power flows resulting from the successful development of wind were not taken into account in the original system design. It is not clear what measures are being taken to avoid this in the future, but with nearly 20 GW of solar PV connected mainly to the distribution system in Germany this is potentially a problem waiting to happen17. An event in Great Britain in May 2008 (National Grid, 2009) also highlights the need to ensure that embedded generation (some of it wind) needs to stay on line during a frequency event. The initial event was the near simultaneous loss of two large conventional generators and some embedded generation within a short period of time. The frequency dropped to below 49.2 Hz and was then brought down to 48.8Hz by the further loss of embedded generation. Under frequency load shedding triggered successfully and the frequency decline was reversed. It is interesting to note that it both the UCTE and the National Grid events the lack of information on what exactly tripped out when and why etc. resulted in a level of ambiguity regarding the exact details of what happened. This again highlights the need to have observability of as much of the system as possible.
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Increasing penetrations of wind power may increase or decrease short circuit levels depending on the circumstances. Locally the addition of wind generation may increase the levels however if it is displacing synchronous generation there will be a reduction as the short circuit capability of wind generators is relatively small. This is having an impact in Western Denmark with must run conventional generation being required, see Abildgaard and Borza (2010) discussed earlier. In Ireland with future very high penetrations it is shown there would be some impacts on the network (EirGrid, 2010). The general trend is that in remote areas with little or no conventional generation where wind is being deployed, the wind results in increased short circuit levels in these weak areas of the network and this is beneficial. In urban areas with significant amounts of conventional generation where short circuit levels are typically high, the displacement of conventional generation by wind results in lower short circuit levels in these areas. Integration studies In the past ten years there have literally been hundreds of wind integration studies conducted across the globe and they form an important part of the international experience. The majority of these would be in the United States and Europe and an excellent wind integration library is maintained by the Utility Wind Integration Group 18. Many of the integration studies have focused more on the market side than the technical side. This was driven initially by a desire to quantify the cost of integration but as penetration levels rise this is giving way to more technical studies. Several excellent text books on the subject of integrating wind into electricity grids are also available e.g. see (Fox et al., 2007; Ackermann, et al., 2005). In addition to specific integration studies and text books there are several notable activities and reports on the wind integration. IEA Wind Task 25 activities on Design and Operation of Power Systems with Large Amounts of Wind Power has been active for almost six years and is an excellent source of state of the art in the area (Holttinen et al., 2009). The IPCC recently published a Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (IPCC, 2011), Chapter 8 of this report deals with integration of renewable resources into electricity, heat and transport markets (Krewitt et al., 2011). Other notable reports include the North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) report on integration of variable generation (NERC, 2009).
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Noteworthy studies include the recent study in Ireland (EirGrid, 2010) where a very detailed study of the performance of the power system in Ireland to faults was conducted. The study relied on very detailed dynamic and steady state models of the Irish network to investigate voltage and frequency profiles following short circuits and large losses of generation. The study considered several thousand cases with very high instantaneous penetrations of wind of up to 80 %. The conclusions are that wind will have to be curtailed at very high instantaneous penetration levels for reliability reasons and that this will result in approximately 5 to 10 % energy curtailment at a 38 % energy penetration level. This does not include curtailment for transmission congestion reasons. As a result of this study EirGrid have formalized a limit of 50 % instantaneous penetration of wind power on the Irish grid. It is planned to increase this limit as the various countermeasures are deployed, but the studies suggest a hard limit of 75 %. Significant amounts of wind in Ireland will be connected to the distribution system and during a frequency event the models are predicting that the rate of change of frequency (ROCOF) relays at their current settings (0.5Hz/sec) will disconnect the wind plants leading to a cascading frequency decline. Hence replacement of ROCOF in the distribution system networks by alternative protection schemes or increased ROCOF relay thresholds. It was also found that emulated inertia from wind plants and frequency regulating capability may be of benefit. A minimum inertial constraint was also considered but the values studied was too small to have a significant impact. Interestingly the studies also indicated that there was a limit to the amount of imports to the system as the HVDC connections are similar to modern wind turbines with respect to inertial response19. EirGrid and SONI the Irish system operators are continuing to investigate the countermeasures with further studies. This study also found that reduction in active power from wind farms during a fault could lead to frequency depressions of a magnitude greater than would occur following the loss of the largest unit online. To date and to the best of our knowledge there have been no inertia related events reported. Certainly on the larger well interconnected grids like the Continental European System (including West Denmark and Iberian Peninsula) have reported no frequency control issues and certainly none relating to the lack of inertial response from the modern wind turbine technologies. A recent study in the United States, not surprisingly, found that wind had no impact on the frequency response capability of the grids (Eto et al., 2010). The observed characteristic response of Eastern Interconnection frequency is not an inertial issue but is more likely the result of the practices used in providing primary and secondary control of generation. In contrast the
Ireland currently has one 500 MW HVDC connection to Great Britain, capable of frequency control, with a second being commissioned.
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ERCOT system and the Western Interconnection have very good frequency response characteristics. Other studies are raising the possibility of reliability impacts of wind turbines with their non synchronous nature; see for example Vittal et al. (2009).
Energy storage technologies are beneficial to electricity grids and do assist in integrating wind energy. Storage, is a particularly flexible resource on the system, but has significant round-trip inefficiencies and typically has a large capital cost. Cost benefit analysis studies show that it is not economically justified to invest in storage until very high energy penetrations where wind is being curtailed significantly for operational or transmission reasons (Tuohy and O'Malley, 2011). However additional benefits of storage need to fully quantified and compared with alternatives, in order to determine if storage is a good investment from the overall system perspective (Denholm et al., 2010). Where the incremental cost of storage is low, for example in the case of hydro systems where some relatively small additional investment enables generation and pumping, investment may be justified to integrate wind. Portugal is a good example of this where hybrid hydro/pumped storage facilities are being developed partially to help integrate wind (REN, 2008; Estanqueiro et al., 2010). Studies vary in their level of detail, scope, scale, time horizon and resolution but do have a number of common characteristics. They typically investigate future scenarios with modelling tools and data. They use a set of tools and techniques, mostly standard, some proprietary, that model the system both technically and economically. With increasing levels of wind penetration these tools need to be adapted to ensure they are fit for purpose. In addition there is a danger that the when you consider the dimension of the problem space that some important aspects will not be modelled correctly and this points to the need for careful model validation.
Models Modelling of electricity grids is challenging as they tend to be vast, for example the Eastern Interconnection in North America stretches for several thousand kilometres and has millions of components20. They also have many important characteristics that need to be analysed and understood at a wide range of time resolutions and different time horizons. For example, a short circuit fault needs to be studied at the millisecond
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resolution while the maintenance schedules for equipment needs to be considered over months or years. Therefore having a single model for an electricity grid is simply not feasible nor pragmatic. Therefore a large range of modelling tools and techniques have been developed to analyse electricity grids. Steady state operation of the electricity grid can be challenging to model and dynamic models can be even more difficult. As the integrity of the power system in many instances depends on relying on the predictions of these models it is imperative that the models are well validated against robust measurements.
With small penetrations of wind energy there was little need to know how they performed during system events. However, now that the penetration levels are rising and with instantaneous penetration levels in many grids reaching 50 % and above on many occasions it is critical they perform to support the system and that the system operators can plan ahead using models that predict with a high level of confidence how they will perform. Therefore there is a need for useful, robust validated models of the wind turbines which will allow proper assessment of performance and should allow the grid to be developed in an optimal manner (Coughlan et al., 2007; NREL, 2010b). To maintain system reliability, poor models may lead to a conservative approach from the system operators which will inevitably increase the overall integration cost. These models are needed for many different applications including steady state and stability analysis and short circuit studies. The wind turbine technology differs in many respects from the more traditional conventional (synchronous) generators. They are coupled to the grid via power electronics with sophisticated controls and each turbine is approximately two orders of magnitude smaller than the typical conventional generator. Therefore the models need to capture the power electronic controls, which are probably different for every manufacturer, and they also need to aggregate the models into wind farms so as to avoid high dimensional computational issues. In the early days manufacturers were providing their own proprietary models for studies but this was far from satisfactory as they required non disclosure agreements and typically multiple manufacturer models were required for multiple study platforms. More recently there has been a push for generic positive sequence models (NREL 2010; NERC, 2010c). Specialised studies that investigate interaction issues such as sub synchronous torsional interaction, sub synchronous resonance and the interaction between HVDC controls and wind turbines will require detailed three-phase equipment models. For unbalanced faults the prediction of fault ride through characteristics for some designs may also require dedicated three phase models. The consensus is that such models would be extremely difficult to be generic and therefore manufacturers should continue to
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provide these models under non disclosure agreements (NERC, 2010c). There are however some academic models available that may be useful but parameter sets for individual wind turbines are difficult if not impossible to obtain and validate (Singh and Santoso, 2007; 2011). Short circuit studies are typically carried out with simple models that represent a conventional generator by a Thevenin model. Short circuit currents from modern wind turbines will typically be much smaller than conventional generators leading to concerns about the protection ratings. However it is widely accepted that the Thevenin modelling approach is not adequate to represent the power electronics in a modern wind turbine that controls the output current. Therefore it is likely that for accurate representation of short circuit currents specialized models will have to be used. Detailed guidance on modelling and fault types for most wind turbine technologies can be found in Walling et al. (2011) and Samann et al. (2008). Advances in wind technology such as emulated inertial response (Miller et al., 2010) have some interesting and potentially exciting development for electricity grids of the future. However with wind turbine manufacturers continually improving their designs and functionality there is a need to continually update the models of the individual devices so as system operators and planners can carry out the required studies to ensure the reliability of the system. Therefore the trend is for detailed, validated models for specialized studies and standard models, developed and supported by software vendors with parameters supplied by manufacturers for large-scale system studies.
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IV. Conclusions Electricity grids are changing dramatically, not only with increased wind penetrations but increasing solar, electric vehicles and demand side participation. Wind energy is variable, difficult to predict and connects to electricity grids differently than conventional generation. This brings challenges but none that are insurmountable. International experience, practice and studies show that very high wind penetrations are achievable provided the particular characteristics of wind generation are accounted for in the planning and operating of the electricity grids. South Australia is amongst the regions in the world with the highest wind penetration and indeed others in the world can learn from Australia. Developing new transmission to integrate wind energy is probably the biggest integration challenge globally and technical, regulatory and social solutions need to be found. New planning and operating tools are being developed, demonstrated and deployed to account for the variability and predictability characteristics of wind energy. The asynchronous nature of the wind generation being integrated into electricity grids, that is displacing conventional (synchronous) generation, needs to be properly managed. In particular the conventional (synchronous) generation characteristics e.g. inertial response, voltage control and short circuit current need to be provided by the wind generation or in another cost efficient manner. Development, validation of the models that represent the wind generators needs to be constantly reviewed to ensure secure and reliable electricity grid performance.
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