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HOW VARIABLE ENERGY RESOURCES AFFECT THE COST OF RESERVES IN ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Expert Independent Consultant ,Electric Power Systems Engineering Free lancer

Summary Full Academic Qualification by obtaining B.Sc. (1971), M.Sc. (1980) and Ph.D. (1991) of Electric Power Engineering. Active continuous education by participating in long periods of...

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  • Sep 21, 2020
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HOW VARIABLE ENERGY RESOURCES AFFECT  THE COST OF RESERVES IN ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM

Background

- In an electric power system generators are initially dispatched according to unit commitment schedules made one day in advance. They determine which generators will come online or go off-line at various times during the following day.

- In order to minimize the cost of meeting load, subject to transmission line capacity limits and other security constraints, vertically integrated utilities are dispatching the committed generators with lower marginal operating costs before those with higher costs. Where there are organized wholesale markets, system operators utilize generators’ bids instead of actual costs in determining how units are dispatched.

- The committed generators may fail to meet their dispatch schedule due to unforeseen equipment failures or other contingencies, necessitating the dispatch of reserves. Generators and demand response can provide these operating reserves.

Operating Reserves Categories

  • Frequency Response Reserves

The fastest reserves spans from milliseconds to seconds, used to respond to severe contingencies which affect the power system frequency such as the loss of a generator or transmission line. They are activated automatically on individual generators and at control centers, and are rarely explicitly dispatched by the operator.

 

  • Regulating Reserves

It lasts for seconds and used during normal operation to maintain the balance between supply and demand due to random changes in generation or load. They are dispatched by the operator in times that are faster than the clearing periods of energy markets.

  • Ramping Reserves

It spans from minutes to hours responding to ramp events, due to unexpected unit commitment schedule. They can ramp their outputs either up or down.

  • Load Following Reserves

These are dispatched during normal operations by the operator to maintain the balance between supply and demand due to cyclical ( daily, weekly) changes in demand or generation, on a slower timescale than regulating reserves.

 

  • Supplemental Reserves

The slowest form of reserves spans from tens of minutes to hours. These are deployed during contingencies alongside faster reserves. They are designed to slowly ramp up and replace faster reserves, which are then available to address future contingency events.

 

Effect of Variable Energy Resources On Reserves

Wind integration studies and experience have shown that the additional variability and uncertainty associated with higher penetrations of wind will increase operating reserve requirements. Herein after highlights of how variable energy resources affect each category of reserves.

  • Frequency Response and Supplemental Reserves

All major international studies have concluded that large VER penetrations do not significantly increase the risks for traditional contingencies.

  • Regulating Reserves

The uncertainty and the variability of VERs can create fluctuations in production on the order of minutes. Accommodating these fluctuations may require a modest increase in fast-responding regulating reserves required for normal operations.

  • Ramping and Load-following Reserves

Ramping and load-following reserves are primarily used to counteract VER forecast errors in the day-ahead scheduling of plants. Day-ahead load forecast errors are typically below 1% mean average error of production. As a result, operators must conservatively operate the system assuming that the actual VER production could be at least 20% lower than forecasted, requiring large quantities of reserves.

The risk of ramp events in most cases comes from the uncertainty of when they will occur and how long they will last. Indeed, predictions of ramp event occurrence and timing are often difficult and can result in large and sudden forecast errors that deplete reserves that are on-line in a time too short to activate reserves that are fully off-line.

 

How to Reduce the Cost of Associated Reserves With VERs.

  • Improve variable energy resource forecasts and situational awareness through greater sharing of meteorological data ,which will improve wind forecast accuracy in regions with high penetrations of VERs.

  • Make more frequent decisions closer to real time .

  • Cooperate among balancing areas can offer reliability and economic benefits when integrating large amounts of VERs. By aggregating a geographically diverse collection of VERs, rapid changes in the outputs of individual VERs are replaced by the slower output variations of the aggregated resource.

  • Ensuring adequate system flexibility to be capable of continuously modifying their output, or “cycling,” to accommodate the variation in the output of the VERs.

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Thank Dr. Amal for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 21, 2020

Cooperate among balancing areas can offer reliability and economic benefits when integrating large amounts of VERs. By aggregating a geographically diverse collection of VERs, rapid changes in the outputs of individual VERs are replaced by the slower output variations of the aggregated resource.

To this point, we also need to keep investing in high efficiency transmission infrastructure that can make this possible over longer distances, such as HVDC transmission systems that can bring hydropower hundreds of miles in one direction and solar back in the other direction depending on what is available and where

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Dr. Amal Khashab on Sep 21, 2020

Thanks Matt for your comment.

About high-efficiency transmission such as HVDC that can bring hydropower hundreds of mile in one direction and solar back in the other direction I would like to draw attention to :

- It is preferable to use generated electricity locally and avoid long distance transmission. This will save transmission losses.

- PV is DC power at low voltage (220/380 Volt). One cannot transfer a huge power without raising up that voltage up to 500 KV, which is technically possible but not cost-effective.

 

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