Strategies and Decision Support Systems for Integrating Variable Energy Resources in Control Centers for Reliable Grid Operations
Electricity generated from variable energy (VER), with wind being the leading source, is developing rapidly worldwide-and is only expected to increase further. The stats say it all: about 19.4 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind capacity worldwide was operable at the end of 2010, a 22% increase compared to 2009. The U.S. alone accounts for more than 40 GW of total installed capacity. In its landmark 2008 report 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) examined a scenario and found it feasible that wind power can contribute 20% to the U.S. electricity supply by 2030 if challenges identified in that report are addressed.
Nevertheless, effectively integrating a large amount of wind energy into current and future power grids is still a prominent issue for grid operators, regulators and the electricity industry today. In response to DOE’s solicitation for proposals that address the potential challenges and solutions to realizing a scenario of “20% Wind Energy by 2030,” researchers at Alstom Grid Inc. endeavored to investigate and identify the best ways in which to guide operational strategies, business processes and control room tools that support this overall objective.
To accomplish this, the Alstom Grid Inc. investigators surveyed 33 operators of electric power systems in 18 countries about wind integration, their operating policies, best practices, examples of excellence, lessons learned and decision support tools now in place. The power systems represented in this report have different network topologies, mix generation and load profiles, and a range of penetration levels of wind generation. Further, the combined amount of wind power capacity in the world. The power grids are located in vary geographies with diverse weather regimes and many of the utilities surveyed operate under dissimilar regulatory frameworks, and in regulated or deregulated electricity markets.