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Ensuring Adequate Generation Supply

The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) defines adequacy as one of the two cornerstones of reliability. Many utilities struggle to deal with achieving adequate generation supply as the system approaches real-time operation. They face the challenges of managing optimal scheduling and dispatch of a resource-diverse portfolio that includes demand-side assets, distributed energy resources, and variable generation. Optimal dispatch applications go a long way in helping to meet system demands and reserves requirements.
 
To get a broader perspective on generation supply adequacy, four distinct time frames need to be considered: 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ©2016 OATI, Inc.

Generation Load Balance in Different Time Horizons

 
1.    Long-term Planning: Ensures that the most optimal generation portfolio is invested in to supply the forecasted load.
 
2.    Operations Planning: Deals with changes in transmission or generation which will need to take place for maintenance purposes in the coming months or days, considering the preparation time for starting and stopping generation units going live. For example, while nuclear units need months of preparation, hydraulic units can go live in just a day or so.
 
3.    Generation Scheduling: Involves predicting expected, near real-time, future conditions and arranging for sufficient resources to support reliable operations. Generation Scheduling typically involves:

  • Forecasting expected future conditions for load and for variable generation
  • Determining what resources and reserves are required
  • Scheduling generation to meet load
  • Scheduling reliability resources
  • Screening for possible contingencies
  • Resolving transmission congestion problems
  • Fulfilling interchanges with neighboring utilities

4.    Generation Control: Involves monitoring the power system in real-time to assure that conditions are as expected. Action is required both to implement the prepared operating plan and to respond to observed conditions that differ from the expected, threatening reliability.
 
Optimal dispatch applications with these capabilities are an invaluable tool for utilities faced with the scheduling and operational challenges that come with a resource-diverse portfolio. In my next blog post, I will dig deeper into these types of solutions and other technologies required for generation scheduling.
 
About the author:
Dr. Ebrahim Vaahedi is Senior Director of Microgrid & GridControl Software Development at OATI, with more than 30 years of experience in different segments of the energy industry, specializing in the development and execution of technology strategies for utility industry. Dr. Vaahedi joined OATI following his prior position with a major Canadian utility as Chief Technology Officer, where he was accountable for developing and executing a consolidated technology plan, including the delivery of a $140 million Control Center project. Dr. Vaahedi is the author of a recent book on modern power system operation, titled “Practical Power System Operation.” Dr. Vaahedi earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and went on to earn his M.S. in Power Systems and Electrical Machines and a Ph.D. in Optimal Control of Power from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

June 13, 2016