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European wind power integration study: the mainland grids

Objective

To investigate technical and economical factors e.g. wind predictability, wind farm - grid interface, distribution system strength etc. of importance for the integration of wind power into the EC electricity generating system.
This work followed the European Wind Power Penetration Studies, which were concerned with macroeffects of defined levels of wind penetration in the utility systems under study. These studies led to the present integration studies which include the following:
system stability problems;
wind predictability, potential and benefits;
wind farm grid interface;
wind farm cost and operation;
wind in cogeneration with other renewables, especially photovoltaics.
Much of the study has been concerned with large grid connected systems. A separate Island Study Group has interests relating to all the above topics. Sweden has joined the study, and contributions have been received outside the contractual framework on American experience (Hawaii and elsewhere) and wind power in Scottish islands.

There are likely to be no problems with system stability, provided that wind penetration levels are within certain limits. However, this cannot be taken as a blanket conclusion; it will be necessary to assess each case specifically.

Studies of wind in combination with other renewable sources have generally been concerned with identifying the issues that need to be considered in later, more detailed studies. However, France has shown that photovoltaics (PV) and wind together earn additional capacity credit, whilst Greece has studied voltage variations from wind and PV on the island of Kythnos.

With regard to the wind farm grid interface, the importance has been demonstrated again of considering specific cases. For example, the Portugese study showed the importance of correct choice of generator time constant and of reactive power compensation levels.
The first phase of the wind penetration studied has now been completed, and the need has been identified for a further two year phase. The studies have established the nature and magnitude of energy and capacity credits and associated costs resulting from the penetration of various types.

However, for the studies to be of the greatest practical value, it is necessary to take into account additional technical and economic factors concerned with the integration of wind power into systems of defined electrical characteristics. Also, improved quantification is desirable of the benefits of better wind power predictability.

A group of major European utilities has therefore been formed with a view to gain a better understanding of the following important issues:

System stability problems
Wind predictability - possibilities and potential
Wind farm-grid interface
Wind farm cost and operation
Wind in co-generation with other renewables

NB: This contract is part of an important joint study on wind power integration that is specific for each European country. This group covers following contracts: JOUR-CT89-0022; JOUR-CT89-0023; JOUR-CT89-0028; JOUR-CT89-0029; JOUR-CT89-0030; JOUR-CT90-0041; JOUR-CT90-0042; JOUR-CT90-0043; JOUR-CT90-0044; JOUR-CT90-0049; JOUR-CT90-0088.

Coordinator

National Power plc
Address
18 Warwick Lane
EC4P 4EB London
United Kingdom