SUPWIND Decision Support for Large Scale Integration of Wind Power

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Project Objectives

A new issue in the planning and operation of electricity systems is gaining importance with the increase of installed capacity of wind power, namely the handling of fluctuating electricity production. Recent projects such as WILMAR have developed optimisation models that endogenously include the information contained in wind power production forecasting to make decisions that are more robust towards the fluctuations in the wind power production. In the GreenNet/GreenNet-EU27 project, a tool for endogenously determining optimal investment strategies in grids with large-scale wind integration has been developed.

Building on the tools developed and experiences gained in these projects, the SUPWIND project will demonstrate the applicability of optimisation models that support transmission system operators (TSOs) and other relevant actors in both the day to day operation of the power system and the long-term planning of investment in transmission lines and production assets.

In order to advance on these key success factors, the following objectives are defined:

  • Demonstrate the applicability of decision support tools based on stochastic analysis and programming for operational management of grids and power plants.

Therefore the tools developed in the WILMAR project will be used as starting point for the development and application of a set of decision support tools. These tools are expected to contribute to substantial improvements in the cost effectiveness of grid operation and the security of supply with increased fluctuating renewables.

  • Demonstrate the applicability of strategic analysis tools for decision support for long-term management of grids.

The set of tools developed in the WILMAR project will be extended and complemented. The application of the improved tools will demonstrate their usefulness by assessing new investments, new operation modes and changes in the market structure.

  • Detailed analysis of improved coordination mechanisms between grid operators, power plant operators, power exchanges etc.

A particular focus will be laid on the comparative analysis of different market designs and their capability to cope with increasing shares of fluctuating wind energy.

  • Dissemination of knowledge among system operators.

System operators have so far only partly been interested in detailed models for operating grids with increased wind energy shares. Currently this is mainly an issue for operators in Denmark and Germany. But with the EU strategy to increase the share of Renewables throughout the EU the issue becomes of increasing relevance also for other countries. By demonstrating the successful application of such management tools both in countries with a high share of fluctuating renewables and in others, the consortium aims at proving the relevance of such approaches.

Potential impact

The project contributes to secure the operation of the European electricity supply system and to develop it further in view of a sustainable energy future. Through the development of detailed simulation and optimisation models and their application, the project allows to identify system configurations and operation modes which fulfil best the concurrent and partly conflicting objectives for sustainable electricity systems: security of supply, economic efficiency and environmental friendliness. It thereby focuses on the large scale integration of wind energy, which is expected to contribute substantially to the reduction of CO2 and other emissions but at the same time raises new challenges for guaranteeing the security of supply given the large scale fluctuations. 

The tools developed in the preceding WILMAR project have already been tested by grid and plant operators in the Scandinavian electricity system. The new set of tools will be specifically designed to fit the different analysis and planning needs of the various actors in liberalised electricity markets with high wind energy penetration.

The project especially contributes to an improved ex-ante assessment of the impacts of increased renewables generation on the electric grid and notably to the assessment of corresponding risks. The primary stakeholders interested by these analyses are grid operators, but also wind farm and power plant operators.

Grid operators

The grid operators are the primary addressees of the newly developed tools. On an operational level, the developed tools will allow the dispatchers to assess ex-ante the implications of extreme events (e.g. maximum wind supply at minimum load) by running simulations of the grid and system operation. This enables the operators to analyse the effectiveness of possible counter-measures and to be thus better prepared to such extreme events. By providing a connection to online wind measurements and power plant data as well as corresponding analysis tools, the operation tools allow furthermore to identify potentially critical situations at an early stage and provide hence the operators an increased response time lag.

Furthermore by including load uncertainty and stochastic outages of power plants and transmission lines in the tools used in operational planning, estimates of the need for power reserves in different supply and wind prediction situations can be made. Thereby the reservation of power reserves made by transmission system operators can be minimised.

The strategic decision support provided to the grid companies is based on the detailed analysis of the operational characteristics of the electricity system. The tools used for this purpose are incorporating detailed simulations of the grid and market operations derived from the day-to-day operation management. At the same time the strategic analysis tools allow to define scenarios, which enable the grid companies to assess the usefulness and viability of investments under various assumptions. Especially transmission line investments can be evaluated with the strategic analysis tools but also investment in dedicated wind power integration measures such as electricity storages can be assessed with these tools.

Wind farm and power plant operators

The wind farm and other power plant operators are benefiting similarly to the grid operators from the operational management tools developed in the project. The connection to online wind measurements will allow the operators to adapt timely the production schedules of their power plants or/and to submit appropriate bids on spot and reserve markets. Also for strategic planning, they may use the corresponding tool to assess the viability of new investments in the future market. Also the developers of wind farms and corresponding hardware and software will benefit from the analyses carried out through improved data and concepts for assessing the profitability of new projects. Furthermore they can derive from the analyses carried out the value of technical improvements or increased geographical diversification in a system context.

Contribution to policy developments

Important stakeholders in this field are market operators, regulators as well as national governments and the EU. The benefits of SUPWIND for these stakeholders are summarized in the following.

Market operators and regulators

Market operators and regulators will benefit mostly from the application studies carried out within the project. They will gain detailed insight into the environmental, economic and system stability impacts of various alternative market designs and regulation modes. The analyses will e.g. highlight the pros and cons of day-ahead vs. hour-ahead spot markets and of various types of reserve market operation (e.g. German model, Scandinavian model, UK model). Thus the efficiency of the market and system operation will be improved, contributing to an increased competitiveness of the European electricity system, which will in turn enhance the competitiveness of the European industry through reduced electricity costs.

Governments and EU

National Governments and the European Commission can benefit from the project outcomes insofar as the project will provide detailed insights into the feasibility and the cost of wind energy integration in various EU member states. It will analyse in detail the impacts of increased on-shore and off-shore wind production on grid operation and necessary grid investments. Also the value of new storage technologies and capacities is analysed under different scenarios in the case studies. By analysing the required investments not only from a national but also from a European perspective, the project will enable the decision makers to analyse also the trade-offs between investments in cross-border transmission capacities and reinforcements of the national grids.

Description of work

In order to achieve the objectives, two phases comprising a total of nine work packages are foreseen. Phase I covers the first 18 months of the project duration and is completed, when the key research activities, being WP 2 and WP 3, are completed. Phase II is entirely devoted to the application of the developed extended tools in several case studies.

The work package structure is as follows:

WP1 covers the general project management activities.

WP2 and 3 are key research activities, since the tools necessary to achieve the objectives of the project are developed there. In WP2 the functionality of the Wilmar Planning Tool is extended to include evaluation of transmission line and power plant investments. WP3 extends the Wilmar Planning Tool by including online status information of power plants and transmission lines and online wind power forecast data. The tool will be extended to include load uncertainty and stochastic outages in the stochastic optimisation.

As part of the demonstration of the applicability of the tools, the input data to these decision support tools has to be collected. This includes data for the existing power systems in the EU and scenarios for the development of the power systems in the future. WP4 takes care of the scenario generation, and WP5 addresses the collection of data for the present power systems. WP4 develop possible overall scenarios on the future of the European electricity market. WP5 extends the data bases constructed in the WILMAR and GreenNet/GreenNet-EU27 projects to cover EU27 except Cyprus and Malta but including Norway and Switzerland. Furthermore the data needed to analyse more specific operational cases, such as the operation of the Nordel system in a situation with large scale installation of onshore and offshore wind power in the Nordic countries, will be collected in close corporation with the relevant TSO.

In WP6 the European Power System scenarios developed in WP4 are analysed with the strategic planning tool complemented with input from the analysis of selected operational cases. The scenarios will focus on large scale deployment of wind power and the resulting need and costs of investments in transmission lines and new flexible generation facilities including storages. Covering EU27, the tool will enable analysis of the bottlenecks arising in the European power system as a result of the location of wind power in high wind resource areas being in some cases remotely situated relatively to the high consumption centres.

In WP7 selected operational cases will be analysed in close corporation between model developers and TSOs. The results from the strategic planning tool will provide boundary conditions for the geographical cases selected. Each case will be evaluated with regard to the usefulness of the operational tool in helping with the day to day planning especially the estimate of the need for power reserves. The specific issues related to inclusion of online power system data in the operational tool will be analysed for each case. Furthermore the ability of the operational tool in testing the robustness of the power system towards extreme events will be evaluated.

WP8 will analyse changes in the market design for day-ahead and regulating power markets and use the tools developed in WP2 and WP3 to see how much this influences the feasibility and costs of wind power integration.

These WPs are complemented by WPs devoted to internal and external communication issues, notably project management (WP1) and dissemination (WP9).

Graphical presentation of work packages

Work plan and time table

The project started in October 2006 and will run for 36 months until September 2009.