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Enabling ancillary services from wind farms

New design and control solutions are required in order for wind farms to play a significant role in the delivery of ancillary services for power grids

The ancillary services market for renewables is growing steadily in many countries worldwide. Wind farms can be considered as power units having similar power plant characteristics to conventional generation units. Technically, wind generation is able to secure the quality, stability and reliability of the grid by delivering ancillary services. But some challenges remain in optimizing the control of the wind parks to maximize economic opportunities while ensuring that the power system operates securely. These challenges include the inter-collaboration of several small wind farms, simultaneous control of different devices and the application of business and market dynamics to the control of the wind farms.

The existing and upcoming grid code requirements in Europe and worldwide, challenge the design and control system of wind turbines, asking for more flexibility in power production and speed of reaction to grid events.

Considering the vast amount of wind power already installed in Europe and elsewhere and the penetration levels in some grids, the provision of ancillary services and grid support functions from old and new wind installations are key to enable further integration of wind power.

ABB is Topic Leader on “Integrating wind power into the electricity market” at the upcoming WindEurope Summit and WindEnergy Hamburg 2016 taking place in Hamburg, Germany from September 27-39, 2016. I will be on hand at ABB’s stand No. 200, HA4 and look forward to discussing possible plant design and control solutions to enable wind farms to provide ancillary services to both market and grid operators. As well as the proposal of an integrated grid connection concept, where the capability of a wind farm to provide flexible power output and ancillary services is addressed from the very beginning, from a cost-benefit standpoint at the plant level.

Finally, I also would like to share with you the concept of aggregation of multiple plants into virtual power plants (VPP). This concept covers concerns related to the volatility of wind farm output and the need to find additional balancing power from other generating units such as solar, hydro or biomass.

Look forward to meeting you in Hamburg!

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