Work Package 16 EU-wide assessment of the demonstration projects' replication potential

Main findings

Taskforce 1 (Demonstration projects 1 and 2): 'Contribution from variable generation and load to system services'

  • It is socio-economically feasible to have wind power contribute to system frequency control in limited periods.
  • Wind power could generate cost reductions in the secondary control reserve market by up to 24% with 99.99% reliability in Germany (Demonstration 1).
  • VPPs based on biomass and heat pumps provide a 2.18% reduction in average electricity prices and a 3.46% reduction in CO2 emissions from the German power system (Demonstration 2).

Taskforce 2 (Demonstration projects 3 and 4): 'Allow for offshore wind development'

  • When offshore grids are used for hydro-wind power balancing, CO2 prices have a major impact because they can change the merit order e.g. of gas and coal fired thermal plants (Demonstrations 3 and 4).
  • Wind power forecast errors can be significantly reduced in storm periods, especially on a national level in Denmark, by high wind ride through controls. At European level, the impact is less significant, but can reduce the volume of frequency containment reserves needed to ensure secure system operation (Demonstration 4).

Taskforce 3 (Demonstration projects 5 and 6): 'Increase grid flexibility'

  • Demonstration 5 showed the decrease of total generation cost by providing additional flexibility at system level thanks to DLRs and a smart controller of PFCs. Local benefits in terms of reduced congestion management costs and improved operation have been assessed by demonstration 6. Additional grid flexibility will deliver both.
  • The experience gained through demonstrations 5 and 6 enables to identify where to install RTTRs or DLRs to capture the cooling benefits from wind and new PFCs for both alleviating local congestions and creating a greater effect at pan-European level.

Work package in detail

This work package aimed to analyse the technical and economic potential for the replication of the projects in large areas of the EU.

The potential for using wind power in frequency control in Germany and France was assessed, as was the economic impact of using wind power in secondary frequency control in Spain (Demonstration project 1). In general, the results show that it is socio-economically feasible to have wind power contribute to system frequency control in limited periods, although this implies that wind power production will be less than it could have been in those periods.

The German study concludes that in the right conditions, wind power could generate cost reductions in the secondary control reserve market by up to 24% with 99.99% reliability. The full potential will be deployed if wind turbines decided to bid for negative reserve products (that is, only to reduce power output) only, while bidding for positive reserve products under the current cost structure is not beneficial for wind farms.

Using a supply and demand model, the French 2020 case study concludes that less than 2% of the total required frequency control volume will be provided by wind power.

The potential for using wind power in voltage control was assessed in three wind power plants in Willich, Germany (Demonstration project 1). The cost of using wind power in voltage control varies between 0.022 € per kiloVolt amps reactive hour (or kVarh, which is the unused percentage of electricity which still has to be generated) and 0.0393 €/kVarh, depending on the different wind power plant grid layouts.

The potential for using wind power in frequency control in Germany was assessed by Demonstration project 2, which looked at the economic impact assessment of the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in Denmark. It is concluded that the potential for VPPs based on biomass and heat pumps provides a 2.18% reduction in average electricity prices and a 3.46% reduction in CO2 emissions from the German power system.

The potential for using offshore grids to support the use of Nordic hydro power to balance wind power generation in North Europe has been assessed in studies supplementing the general studies of HVDC networks in Demonstration 3 and the balancing of wind power variability in storm conditions in Demonstration 4. These studies have confirmed that the assumptions of the CO2 prices can be very critical to the findings, because CO2 prices can change the merit order e.g. of gas and coal fired thermal plants.

A survey of the plans for offshore wind power development in North Europe – including the North and Baltic Seas has estimated that there could be 40 GW by 2020 and 114 GW by 2030. This spatial concentration of large-scale wind power will increase the variability of wind power significantly in the European power systems.

Preliminary analysis of the impact of the high-wind-ride-through control capability (see Demonstration 4 for more information) has shown that the new control will reduce wind power forecast errors significantly in storm periods, especially on a national level, because the impact of the storm on power production from offshore wind power plants e.g. in Denmark is highly correlated. At European level, the impact of storm control is less significant. However, the preliminary results confirm that the new high-wind ride through controllers seen in Demonstration project 4 can reduce the volume of frequency containment reserves needed to ensure secure system operation.

A survey of the potential for increasing hydro power generation and pumped storage capacity in Nordic countries has concluded that the existing 29.6 GW hydro power generation capacity in Norway can potentially be increased by 16.5 GW, and that there is a potential for 10-25 GW pumped hydro.

This work also assesses the value of increased Nordic hydropower production flexibility and the corresponding need for transmission capacity investments. Studies of the internal grid in the Norwegian power system recommend expanding the corridor connecting the hydro plants to the Norwegian interconnectors to other European countries to be able to utilise the potential for increased hydro generation capacity and pumped storage capacity in Norway. This expansion is in line with existing plans published by the Norwegian TSO Statnett.

Preliminary results from studies of utilising hydro power in the Alps to balance offshore wind power generation in north Europe confirms that this will require grid reinforcement of the central European network to connect hydro generation in the Alps and wind power generation in the north.

Modelling grid flexibility in long-term simulation tools is very complex as it requires to integrate multiple operational strategies at once. What is more, a vast majority of today's long-term planning tools use probabilistic approaches to identify bottlenecks and grid reinforcements needed to best serve market needs. Hourly situations are treated as independent from each other in a Monte-Carlo simulation. Modelling grid flexibility requires to analyse sequences of situations to integrate decisions over one day or more. Instead, guidelines have been drafted based on the experience gained through the 2 demonstrations to plan where to install RTTR, DLR, PST, HVDC link and OLC.