Ireland’s thermal plants sail into probing wind

The level of wind penetration in Ireland is one of the highest in Europe. This has already had some major impacts on the market, including depressed wholesale prices; reduced running hours for some thermal plants; and curtailment of wind output. This week’s blog considers wider interactions of wind generation with I-SEM trading, particularly the Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM). 

In managing this wind capacity, the TSOs, Eirgrid and SONI have focused on trying to accommodate wind while managing system stability. As well as ensuring that System Non-Synchronous Penetration (SNSP) levels are manageable. The SNSP is effectively the proportion of non-coupled generators running on the system at any one time. The TSOs ensure this level is not too high to cause frequency issues for the grid. The current maximum SNSP seems to be around 65%. This capability has increased from 50% in 2015 and the TSOs are targeting 75% by 2020. This increase is being facilitated by the DS3 balancing services programme.

We summarise how increasing wind generation and SNSP at certain times of day may impact the wider market in the future. It shows a high wind winter weekday scenario, mapping the daily load profile against two SNSP levels, the 50% limit of 2015 and the 75% target for 2020.

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