A new frequency response study from GE's Energy Consulting business found that when equipped with the appropriate modern plant controls, wind applications could substantially enhance grid resiliency.
Using the U.S.' Eastern Interconnection as a model, the study addressed questions about how the U.S. electrical systems would respond to a large-scale interruption of generation, such as multiple power plants tripping offline. Such an event could result in significantly lower frequencies on the system, customer interruptions or even large-scale blackouts, notes GE.
According to GE, the study explored in detail how the grid could respond to a major event and maintain its resiliency with significant wind power added to the generation mix. The conclusions of the study found that wind can be more effective than thermal generation in controlling frequency on the grid due to its ability to respond more quickly.
‘While GE's study considered the impact of wind power on the Eastern Interconnection of the U.S., the lessons we've learned can be applied in Europe and around the globe,’ says Nicholas Miller, lead author of the study and GE's senior technical director.
‘The conclusions demonstrate that wind power can be more effective in maintaining frequency than thermal generation when wind farms are equipped with grid-friendly controls. These findings should show that the future of wind energy is bright, and it will continue to play a larger role in the power we consume.’
The findings of the study, which was sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was presented at the CIGRE Session 45 in Paris. To find out more about the full study, click here.