September 16, 2021
The Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan) acts as secretariat to Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Utility Forum, which brings together representatives from utilities and system operators across Canada to discuss issues of shared importance specific to the planning and operation of power systems with high penetrations of variable generators (solar, wind).
As the amount of non-synchronous renewable generators, such as wind and photovoltaic, increases on the electrical grid, they can present challenges to its operation. Wind and solar energy are generally currently viewed by utilities and system operators as providers of only energy and a burden on ancillary services. Generation sources such as wind and solar are variable by nature, making their generation uncertain. Moreover, these generators typically replace conventional power generators, which traditionally provide ancillary services. To increase penetration of renewable energy into the electrical grid, these perceived shortcomings of renewable energy must be overcome.
The first task of the Utility Forum demonstrated the ability of wind turbine generators to perform the ancillary services Automatic Generation Control (AGC), Frequency Response, and Inertia on the Nuttby Wind Farm in Cobequid Mountains, NS with Enercon and Nova Scotia Power.
All three services performed as expected. The power-frequency error was within 2% of the turbine’s rated power, the AGC performance score exceeded that of equivalent thermal units, and the fast frequency response closely followed the expected profile. This demonstration showed that using a wind farm as a regulating resource is feasible.