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Prof. Amro M. Farid contributes to World Wind Energy Association Report

The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) technical committee has recently published a report entitled “Wind Energy 2050: On the shape of near 100% RE grid”, which studies the challenges of wind energy integration into the power grid and discusses some of the solutions to address these challenges. Chapters 5 and 6 of this report are based upon the work of Dr. Amro M. Farid and discuss the evolution the power grid as it accommodates increasing capacities of wind energy.

Wind and solar energy have already become mainstream energy sources in some regions of the world. While the integration of wind energy has numerous benefits, it also creates new challenges for power system operations. Wind energy is inherently variable and, in order to successfully accommodate it, the power system has to undergo a dramatic change.   Furthermore, and in contrast to the traditional thermal generation units, wind energy sources are non-dispatchable in the traditional sense, meaning their outputs cannot be set to the desired value. As a result, the integration of wind energy requires new approaches to power grid planning and management, including investments into improved wind forecasting techniques and reconsidering operating reserve requirements.

A conventional power system consists of relatively few centralized and dispatchable generation units, and a large number of distributed and stochastic (but accurately forecastable) loads. The electricity is delivered from the centralized and predominantly thermal power plants to the distributed electrical loads. During many decades of operations, power system operators and utilities have developed improved methods for performing their tasks. Generation scheduling and dispatch, reserve management and control technologies have matured. Load forecasting accuracy has improved significantly, reducing forecast errors to as low as a few percent. Power system security and reliability standards have also evolved accordingly.

Six key drivers currently govern the evolution of the grid, namely environment protection, reliability concerns, renewable energy integration, transportation electrification, consumer participation and power market deregulation. This evolution will lead to a diversification of the power grid energy portfolio to include more solar, wind, energy storage and demand-side resources. Thus, the newly emerging operation procedures will not only engage with generators but also with consumers and other ancillary units. As a result, the already existing control technologies and procedures will expand significantly in both number and type.  This will challenge the basic assumptions of power system design and operations. Therefore, the question is not how to mitigate wind variability, but rather how the power grid should evolve to successfully accommodate a high penetration of wind energy.

Governed by these drivers, power system generation and consumption will evolve towards more equal roles in grid operations.  First, from the perspective of dispatchability, wind energy sources resemble traditional consumption in that they are non-dispatchable and forecasted. On the other hand, the introduction of demand response creates makes some portion of the energy consumption dispatchable much like traditional power generation facilities. These two trends change the balance of dispatchability and forecastability as shown in Table 1. Second, the integration of wind energy, like most renewable energy sources, changes the spatial distribution of the generation. Wind energy sources can vary from several kWs to hundreds of MWs.  While larger facilities will continue to be installed centrally into the transmission system, the smaller facilities will be installed at the power grid periphery as distributed generation.  (See Figure 2).  This creates the potential for upstream flow in the distribution system, which was not generally allowed before, and requires the redesign of the protection system accordingly.

GridPortfolio

Table 1: Future grid generation and demand portfolio

gridstructure

Figure 2: Graphic representation of the evolving power grid structure

While many power grid phenomena overlap, the literature has traditionally treated them strictly separately. The evolution of the power grid necessitates reconsidering the distinction between  timescales.   It also requires revisiting the distinction between the transmission and distribution systems. In advocating for power grid enterprise control, our work encourages holistic approaches that work across time scales as well as the fully supply chain of electricity including both the transmission as well as the distribution system.

This work also moves away from the traditional classification of technical and economic control objectives and utilizes the concept of integrated enterprise control as a strategy for enabling holistic techno-economic performance of wind integration. As shown in Figure 3, the power system is modeled as a cyber-physical system, where the physical integration of wind energy and demand-side resources must be assessed in the context of the control, automation, and information technologies. The horizontal axis represents the energy value chain from the generation to the consumption. Finally, the third axis classifies both the generation and the consumption into dispatchable as well as stochastic units. This graph represents the scope of the power system that must address a complex mix of technological, system and societal objectives.

gridcyberphysical

Figure 3: Electrical power grid as a cyber-physical system

This work also moves away from the traditional classification of technical and economic control objectives and utilizes the concept of integrated enterprise control as a strategy for enabling holistic techno-economic performance of wind integration. As shown in Figure 3, the power system is modeled as a cyber-physical system, where the physical integration of wind energy and demand-side resources must be assessed in the context of the control, automation, and information technologies. The horizontal axis represents the energy value chain from the generation to the consumption. Finally, the third axis classifies both the generation and the consumption into dispatchable as well as stochastic units. This graph represents the scope of the power system that must address a complex mix of technological, system and societal objectives.

In depth materials on LIINES smart power grid research can be found on the LIINES website.

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1 Comment

  1. Everette says:

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    this place, I am genuinely enjoying by these.

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