Michael Wrinch and Mark Phillips-Dubois both of Hedgehog, co-authored a recently published technical report for the National Research Council of Canada and the Alberta Electric System Operator. This report presented findings from their study of the regulating reserves in Alberta. The objective was to assess the potential for fast-acting energy storage such as batteries, flywheels and other technologies to enhance Alberta’s electrical grid regulating reserve. Results of the study revealed that fast-acting energy storage resources can positively impact system response times under certain conditions; specifically, when the conventional reserve fleet is replaced with 50% fast-acting assets and when resources are not close to the limits of their regulation range.
Regulating reserves in Alberta were studied through the analysis of measured AESO data and dynamic simulations of its electric system with varying proportions of fast-acting assets in its pool of regulation assets. The analysis revealed that fast acting assets positively impact system response times under certain conditions; however, additional study is required to adequately inform a specific policy reform or change to the requirement for regulating reserves.
The findings of the current evaluation are summarized as follows;
- Overall fleet performance appears to be highly dependent on how closely the assets are operating to the limits of their regulating reserve range.
- The most significant improvement to regulation response was observed when the conventional reserve fleet is replaced with 50% fast-acting assets.
- If resources are not close to the limits of their regulation range, the improvement in performance becomes more prominent.
- At 100% replacement (all conventional assets replaced by fast-acting assets), the performance was inconclusive as the simulation results only revealed control instability. This behaviour could be a result of the current AGC control philosophy being incompatible with the fast–acting assets.
Click here to view the full report for the National Research Council of Canada and the Alberta Electric System Operator
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