Landsnet takes part in various international co-operation projects, the largest of which are two European research projects that have been awarded grants from the EU’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. These projects focus on reliability analysis of electricity systems and controls that will in future ensure European grids’ security of supply and stability.
Both projects support the EU policy goals of security, sustainability and economic efficiency. They also address social challenges. The EU places emphasis on delivering such research results to the market by supporting experimental projects and marketing of innovative solutions, the overriding aim being to increase competitiveness in Europe.
he year 2015 saw the finalisation of an application for support from the EU’s framework programme Horizon 2020 for the research project MIGRATE (Massive Integration of Power Electronic Devices), to which Landsnet is a party. The application was approved in August and the four-year project commenced in January 2016. The project involves 25 participants from 13 countries, including 11 European TSOs in addition to Landsnet. It will require 150 man-years, with the total cost estimated at 18 million euros.
MIGRATE’s main aim is to research ways of increasing the stability of electricity systems faced with ever-increasing moment of inertia due to the growing use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy and an ever-rising number of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) connections between systems. This development and widespread plans to abolish the use of conventional coal, gas and nuclear power stations, which currently contribute a substantial moment of inertia, has led to uncertainty about how to ensure the future stability of electricity systems.
Iceland is considered to offer an ideal research environment, as its electricity system already has a very low moment of inertia compared with the interconnected systems of other European countries and must sometimes deal with stability problems in various operating conditions owing to the system’s small size and very weak inter-regional connections. Iceland also has important infrastructure that is useful for the project in gaining a better understanding of system behaviours. In recent years, for example, Landsnet has developed a Wide Area Monitoring System (WAMS) that has attracted overseas attention and serves as a useful testing tool.
The Icelandic electricity system is thus of considerable interest to the MIGRATE project despite not being part of the interconnected European electricity system. The reasons are, first, the properties of the system and, second, Landsnet’s advanced measurements and real-time analysis of the system’s performance at any given time.
Another European research project in which Landsnet takes part is GARPUR (Generally Accepted Reliability Principle with Uncertainty Modelling and through Probabilistic Risk Assessment), which is organised by Landsnet and Reykjavik University in partnership with European universities, research institutes and TSOs. This four-year project is now well advanced, having received an ISK 1.2 billion grant from the EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research in 2013.
GARPUR’s key objective is to revolutionise the prevailing methodology in grid reliability calculations and develop new and more effective indicators to enable European TSOs to better deal with the substantial changes that have taken place in the development and operation of electricity systems in Europe and work on their further development.
Forecasting electricity supply and demand is becoming ever more challenging, partly because of markedly increased integration of distribution systems in the European electricity market and growing use of renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and other options. Because of the slow pace of development of electricity systems, they are also increasingly operated near tolerance limits. At the same time, technological progress, such as in IT, measurement technologies and electronic technologies, have created new possibilities of gauging the reliability of transmission systems and facilitated their more precise management than was previously possible.
The latter part of the project focuses on the testing of a new methodology with the participation of European TSOs, and has now commenced under Landsnet’s leadership. In 2015, efforts were devoted to defining applicable tests and participation in them. Landsnet places emphasis on ensuring that the testing is as close to the system’s real-time management as possible, which involves a very challenging environment as large quantities of data must be processed automatically.
The project’s website contains information on how the new methodology is developing as well as reports, presentations and published articles on the project.
Landsnet has in recent years been working with the Norwegian TSO, Statnett, and the software producer Goodteck on the installation and testing of the reliability analysis tool PROMAPS.
This software solution is closely related to the GARPUR research project and is already used by Landsnet’s Control Centre. The Icelandic model is being developed at full steam. The tool analyses the electricity system’s reliability in real time and estimates the number of outage minutes for the entire system and within individual regions based on the system’s performance at any given time and reliability indicators for different system units. It also shows a list of the units that, on the basis of probability analysis, exert the greatest impact on the results, i.e. a negative effect on the security of supply.