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Smart and Sustainable Insular Electricity Grids Under Large-Scale Renewable Integration

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Better integration of insular smart grids

Renewable energy sources (RESs) from islands and other isolated communities can now be integrated more easily into smart grids thanks to an EU funded initiative.

Energy

Sunny and/or windy climates of many isolated European regions, including in Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal and the United Kingdom, have a high RES potential. In fact, a large portion of installed RES capacity is located in insular (non-interconnected) electricity grids. However, managing these contributors poses special challenges due to their unreliable and unpredictable electricity generation. The ambitious SINGULAR (Smart and sustainable insular electricity grids under large-scale renewable integration) project investigated the necessary network planning and operation procedures and tools. Project partners aimed to develop effective solutions and information that could maximise the integration of insular and highly variable energy resources. They also applied operation and planning tools in different insular energy grids in 5 countries across Europe. This facilitated the development grid codes for future generations of smart insular electricity grids and produced recommendations for distributed generation devices or systems. Special consideration was given to electrical energy storage to help stabilise intermittent RES supply. Operation tools were also produced RES forecasting, power analysis, scheduling tools, and management of risk and uncertainty. A forecasting service can now exploit historical weather data to forecast hourly RESs production over the next few days. Extensive progress was also made in the development of power analysis tools. Planning procedures and tools for integration with large-scale networks included an algorithm that incorporated RESs into a traditional expansion tool. It was successfully applied to a Spanish test site, demonstrating a substantial decrease in cost compared to no investment in distributed generation. SINGULAR developed novel models and tools for a new electricity network and market concept. It will pave the way for large-scale integration and exploitation of RESs in insular electricity networks, a stepping stone to replacing fossil fuel combustion with RESs. Those countries taking part in SINGULAR are highly dependent on fuel imports for electricity production. The project will help to reduce fuel imports and the associated costs for electricity production, thereby benefitting the respective national economies.

Keywords

Smart grid, renewable energy sources, insular electricity grids, SINGULAR, grid codes

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