Jan 2015
Electricity Transmission
Enhanced Frequency Control Capability (EFCC)
Jan 2015
Mar 2018
National Grid Electricity System Operator and National Grid Electricity Transmission
Vandad Hamidi (SMARTer System Performance Manager)
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Network Innovation Competition
Electricity Transmission Networks
Meeting UK carbon reduction targets will result in a significant increase in the volume of renewables. This will reduce system inertia, giving rise to an increase in the volume and speed of frequency response requirements. Under existing arrangements this increased response requirement is anticipated to see the cost of controlling frequency increase by £200m-£250m per annum by 2020. To mitigate this increase in cost to the end consumer it will be necessary to develop new, significantly faster response solutions utilising renewables, demand side resources, and other new technologies in a coordinated manner. The successful implementation of this project can result in savings of £150m-£200m per annum by 2020.

The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate an innovative new monitoring and control system which will obtain accurate frequency data at a regional level, calculate the required rate and volume of very fast response and then enable the initiation of this required response. This system will then be used to demonstrate the viability of obtaining rapid response from new technologies such as solar PV, storage and wind farms. The new system will also be used to demonstrate the coordination of fast response from demand side resources (DSR), and fast start up from thermal power plants. Utilising the output of this trial, a fully optimised and coordinated model will be developed which ensures the appropriate mix of response is utilised. This will support the development of an appropriate commercial framework prior to full roll out.

New generation technologies are required to facilitate the carbon agenda. EFCC will enable these to contribute to resolving the challenges associated with the change in the generation mix, without imposing increased risk on the security of the system. This will provide commercial incentives and ensure these new technologies can effectively compete with existing technologies in the ancillary service market. There is no provision for trialling the EFCC concept as business as usual.

The Great Britain (GB) electricity system is undergoing huge change, with decarbonisation resulting in increasing volumes of renewable and small-scale generation. One of the key areas challenges resulting from this is the impact on the ability to control system frequency.