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I-SEM Chart of the Week


Just can’t get enough: Irish grid stability on a changing system

James Goldsmith Senior Consultant (Ireland)

Last week, EirGrid informed the market of another delay to the volume capped DS3 procurement. This mechanism is to allow the System Operator (SO) to obtain from the market system services necessary to balance the system. The context to these auctions is an island system (with limited interconnection) that is managing world-leading levels of System Non-synchronous Penetration (SNSP), as discussed in a previous I-SEM Chart of the Week. While the procurement delay may cause some disquiet in the market (we previously discussed encouraging confidence in DS3) these commercial arrangements are just one of a range of measures to manage the system and ensure that system frequency (in effect a proxy for the shifting demand-supply balance) remains close to the magic 50Hz. In the year that EirGrid announced the system could accommodate up to 65% SNSP, how well are the web of current tools and system service contracts functioning? In this week’s I-SEM Chart of the Week, we get under the skin of the headline SNSP numbers. Every time I think of you The ambition of 75% SNSP by 2020 is admirable, but beneath the figures lurks a far more interesting challenge – the consistent management of wind generation that minimises constraints and curtailment. Wind generation, by its nature, is inherently variable and inconveniently non-synchronous. This variability must be managed by EirGrid, which has a target to operate system frequency within the range 49.9Hz to 50.1Hz for 94% of the time. This was achieved 99.5% of the time in 2017. In this week’s ...

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