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Grid Forming Control for Enhanced Operation of Systems with Large Renewable Energy Penetration

Grid Forming Control for Enhanced Operation of Systems with Large Renewable Energy Penetration

A team of researchers of the Ai2 Institute is researching on new Grid Forming Control solutions to achieve higher penetration of renewable energy in Spain.

The Spanish National Integrated Plan for Energy and Climate 2021-2030 (PNIEC) forecasts 120GW of installed renewable power in Spain by 2030, of which 50GW will be wind power and 38GW solar PV. The PNIEC has a goal of 74% renewable electricity production by 2030 and a goal of 100% by 2050. To cater for this high level of renewable energy, several actions have been planned, including new HVDC and HVAC connections between Spain and France, which will lead to an overall 8GW interconnection capacity from the current 2.8GW.

On the other hand, the European Commission goals for de-carbonisation imply a 60GW of installed off-shore wind power by 2030 and up to 300GW by 2050.

The new renewable energy power plants and new interconnectors create important challenges, such as operation with very low inertia, instability caused by interaction between power electronic converters and service restoration with a large percentage of renewable energy. The additional controllability offered by power electronic converters has been identified as a tool for increased integration of large-scale renewables. In this line, ENTSO-e and the European Commission in current HVDC and HVAC grid codes include provision for active voltage control, enhancement of dynamic and transient stability, frequency support and finally, islanding and black-start operation. Grid forming capability is a possible solution to these challenges.

Energy Islands

Energy islands have been proposed as a tool for the grid connection of such massive amounts of renewable energy and also to provide for enhanced, cost-effective increase of transmission capability between North Sea countries. The Danish government has put forward Energy Islands as key initiative to achieve the connection of 5GW additional wind power plants.

In the Spanish case, an additional HVDC link is being planned for the Peninsula-Balearic Islands connection, together with 500MVar Synchronous Condensers and 140MW battery storage. In these cases, grid forming characteristics of renewable energy, HVDC converters and energy storage systems allow for system optimisation, increased robustness and the provision of additional services, such as black-start.

Therefore, the main objective of this project is to contribute to de-risking grid forming control capability for HVdc systems, converter-based generation and storage systems to allow for larger penetration of renewable energy and enhanced system operation.

The findings will be applied to two specific study cases: Second Peninsula-Balearic Island HVDC connector
and North Sea Energy Islands.