Flexibility: the key to renewable integration

Power systems across the world are facing the challenge of integrating more renewables, which due to the underlying variability and uncertainty of wind and PV generation, in particular, is increasing the need for a more flexible power system.

Mark McGranaghan, Vice President for Power Delivery and Utilization, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), will highlight how a wide range of distributed energy sources can satisfy these flexibility needs.

However, there can often be a (large) gap between the technical ability to achieve ramping, frequency regulation, etc. capabilities and how their provision to the system can actually be facilitated.

Experience of different integration approaches, from a number of systems around the world, will be presented.

A related challenge is that renewable generation can often be connected to remote or weaker parts of the network, distant from major load centres.

Environmental, social, and other factors, however, are impacting on the buildout of the electrical network, leading to curtailment of renewables at certain times.

Marie Hayden, Vice President for Business Development, Smartwires, will highlight some of the operational strategies and new technologies that can be applied to reduce network congestion, offering experience of how they are being successfully applied in practice.

Finally, the specific case of the present and future Ireland power system will be presented by Eoin Kennedy, Head of Future Operations team at EirGrid, the transmission system operator for Ireland.

By 2030, Ireland, as a synchronously isolated power system, is aiming for a 70% annual share of (mostly wind and PV) renewables. An instantaneous non-synchronous generation share of 90+% is also targeted.

An insight into the challenges that EirGrid sees ahead will be outlined, supported by its innovative strategy to address them over the next decade.

A discussion will follow the presentations.