Oct 2012
Electricity Transmission
Integrated electricity and gas transmission network operating model (ICASE Award)
Oct 2012
Oct 2016
National Grid Electricity System Operator, National Grid Electricity Transmission and National Grid Gas Transmission
David Lenaghan
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Network Innovation Allowance
Low Carbon Generation
The changing mix of technologies in generation of Great Britian’s electrical supplies is motivating the study of the gas and electricity network. There is increasing use of intermittent renewable electrical generation technologies, most notably, wind turbines.

A number of studies have considered the effect, on the electricity network, of the expected increase in the generation capacity due to wind. It is expected that the intermittency in generation due to wind will have an impact on other generation units which will be required to increase and decrease their generation, as the wind generation falls and rises, in order to meet the shortfall between generation and demand. This will lead to a large increase in the volatility of the price of electricity. It is predicted that gas turbines will have a greater role to play in generating electricity. Their ability to ramp up/down quickly compared to other plant suggests they will be more adept at fulfilling the role as the generator to meet variability in demand.

Another reason for the desirability of a combined model for the gas and electricity networks is the changing availability, location and cost of natural gas resources. With the possibility of future restrictions of the availability of natural gas, there is an increasingly likelihood that prearranged curtailment scenarios will become part of the gas power station’s contract with the gas Transmission Network Operator. There is little historical precedence for such policy and so little data on its possible effects. The questions of what impact such curtailment would have on the stability and security of the electrical network along with its economic outcomes require the use of a model which combines both the electricity and gas networks.

A model to research the gas and electricity network will allow the study of the gas demand for electrical generation under variations in electrical demand and gas price. It is designed to be extendable to allow the future inclusion of other characteristics. For example, important questions exist on the cost and reliability of the GB gas and electrical networks under variations in wind, the model allows for the inclusion of change in generation due to meteorological variables.

The operation and development of the future power system will be more and more linked to the evolution of other interconnected energy vector systems, and in particular of the gas network. In conjunction with variations in wind generation and the role of gas turbines in generating electricity as mentioned above, there is also great uncertainty about the development of the heat sector, traditionally mainly covered through gas boilers, with a number of emerging options such as electric heat pumps and cogeneration systems, which could totally change the business cases for both electricity and gas systems. All of these pose new challenges in terms of identifying the optimal operational and planning approaches for the gas transmission and electricity transmission networks, from techno-economic and reliability standpoints. By addressing these challenges there is potential to use that knowledge to develop cutting edge modeling and assessment tools for integrated energy networks under uncertainty.

This project will extend classical power system models to an integrated network operation model that takes into account the tighter interaction of electricity and gas systems and the impact of such interaction in terms of flexibility, adequacy, reliability, and resilience of the overall energy system under future uncertain scenarios.

The PhD includes three main deliverables:

  1. Report with literature review on gas network, electricity network, and integrated electricity and gas network models for operational assessment and optimization.

  2. Report with description of a prototype model for integrated gas and electrical network operational assessment and optimization.

  3. Report with a description of the developed integrated gas and electrical network model and case study applications with current and future scenarios.