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Serving

the Future
By Jason MacDowell, Sudipta Dutta,
Matt Richwine, Sebastian Achilles, and Nicholas Miller

Grid integration of wind power


plants is complicated by wind variability
and the technical characteristics of wind
generators. The generation mix is evolving
in todays power system as conventional
coal plants reach the end of their useful
lives and are being displaced by cleaner
technology such as wind and gas. At high
levels of wind power penetration, the need
for ancillary services increases, while the
traditional resources that provide those
services may become less available or economically feasible. Developing wind plant
controls that allow performance more like
that of conventional generation presents
the opportunity for wind plants to provide
a full range of ancillary services.
Great advances in wind technology
have occurred over the past decade, allowing wind power to become a mainstream
energy source. These advances have
related mainly to the functionality and
performance of wind generators in operating as power plants on the grid. A key
part of this technology is the wind plant
control system. The plant control system
described in this article coordinates the
behavior of individual wind turbines to
achieve overall grid support, usually without the need for supplemental equipment.
It governs the wind turbines in a way that
allows a wind plant to function as a single,
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2015.2461331
Date of publication: 20 October 2015

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ieee power & energy magazine

1540-7977/152015IEEE

november/december 2015

Advanced Wind Generation


Technology Supports Ancillary Services

tray with handistockphoto.com/deeaf, photo courtesy of nrel

grid-friendly power plant. These grid-friendly controls, which regulate both active and reactive
power, have been successfully implemented in all major wind manufacturers equipment offerings and
have been proven effective in the field. The examples in this article show the performance of one such
plant control system from GE, WindCONTROL.
Integrating wind power plants into grids is complicated by a number of issues that are related
mainly to wind variability and the electrical characteristics of wind generators. A typical wind plant
functions within the grid as a substantially different generation source than conventional power plants The most
significant difference is that wind energy as a fuel source
is inherently uncontrollable and varies over time. In addition, the electrical characteristics of induction, doubly
fed, and full-convertor wind generators exhibit different disturbance responses and output than conventional
synchronous generators. Historically, the real power
produced by wind plants was allowed to fluctuate with
the available wind, and such plants were not required to
participate in system frequency and voltage regulation or
tie-line interchange control.
Such uncontrolled real power output can have an
impact on the grid, including frequency and voltage variations, and increase regulation or ramping requirements
on conventional generation resources. These impacts are
particularly significant for weak system applications, in
control areas where tie-line interchange is constrained,
and in grids with high wind penetration. Moreover, a wind
plant in which power output is not controlled cannot, by
its nature, participate in the regulation of grid frequency,
so when wind generation displaces conventional generation the burden of providing ancillary services, such as
regulation, falls more heavily on the remaining conventional generators.
Historically, wind plants were also allowed to absorb
reactive power from grids or, at best, to maintain a prescribed power factor. This is a substantially different
operating mode than that required of conventional power
plants, which generally regulate their grid interconnection bus voltages. Without coordinated control of wind
plant reactive power interchange with the grid, a typical
wind plant provided no support or regulation of grid voltage. Furthermore, as already mentioned, voltage variations caused by real power variations were not mitigated.
With low wind generation penetration, these equipment characteristics and integration limitations did not
november/december 2015

ieee power & energy magazine 23

Integrating wind power plants into grids is complicated by


a number of issues that are related mainly to wind variability
and the electrical characteristics of wind generators.

have a significant practical impact. However, wind generation is now reaching substantial penetration levels in many
regions, and grid integration has emerged as a potential limit
on further development of this environmentally friendly
resource. Consequently, interconnecting utilities and regulatory agencies are imposing grid codes that demand performance from wind plants similar to what is provided by
conventional power plants that use steam, gas, and hydro
turbines with synchronous generators.
Todays wind plants are quite capable of providing the
full range of ancillary services that conventional thermal and
hydro plants offer, often with greater speed and accuracy. To
demonstrate the capability of todays technology, this article
describes several examples of wind plants that use GE wind
technology. Other large mainstream wind equipment manufacturers provide functional capabilities similar to those
described here, although implemented using different strategies and methods.

Wind Plant Control Systems


Wind plant control systems regulate the net real and reactive power interchange between a wind plant and the grid.
This allows the wind plant to regulate the voltage magnitude of the grid, provide governor frequency response, and
minimize rates of power change. The reactive capability can
be achieved with or without sufficient wind velocity to operate the wind turbines. This wind plant control system is a
hierarchical scheme that controls individual wind turbines
in order to implement highly accurate, stable, closed-loop
regulation of grid parameters, such as voltage or power, and
grid-interface parameters, such as power factor or net power
output. In the following sections, we describe the functionality of each of these controls and examine its opportunities
for providing various ancillary services.

Wind Plant Control of Real Power


The advanced active power controls offered as part of
todays wind systems manage the electric power output just
as well as any conventional fossil-fired power plant. In some
regards, wind plants with these advanced controls offer even
better control than conventional units because the output
may be tuned to mitigate frequency excursions shortly after
a loss of a large amount of generation in the system. The
flexibility and performance of these modern controls offer
more tools to address the challenges regarding frequency
control that system planners and operators face today.
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Governor Frequency Response


One set of active power control functions offered in wind
plant control systems is closely akin to the governor controls
in thermal and hydro generation. They respond to significant
deviations in grid frequency, increasing or decreasing power
output according to higher or lower grid frequency events,
respectively. To accomplish this, the controls alter the active
power control reference targeted by the turbine controls.
Grid over-frequency events are stressful to power components. Furthermore, temporary high-frequency swings can
present a reliability concern. For example, during one recent
and well-publicized grid occurrence, the high-frequency
backswing from a major disturbance in the grid caused
power plant trips and aggravated an already severe event.
When enabled, the response of the plant control system will
rapidly reduce power output for the duration of the over-frequency event. This behavior is similar to that of the governor control on thermal generation, except that it is faster and
allows deeper runback of power than is typical of conventional thermal generation.
To demonstrate wind plants ability to provide primary
governor response, we present the results of field tests
obtained at a 60-Hz North American site with 40 operating GE 1.5 MW turbines and a GE WindCONTROL plant
control system. These tests were performed during the
commissioning phase of the wind plant; for some portions
of the tests, only 38 turbines were in operation.
Figure 1 illustrates the power response of the wind plant
due to a grid over-frequency condition. For this test, the
controller settings correspond aggressively to frequencies
greater than the 0.02-Hz dead band. During the test, the site
was operating unconstrained at prevailing wind conditions.
It was producing slightly less than 23 MW (~40% of rated
for the turbines online) prior to the over-frequency condition. The system over-frequency condition was created using
special test software that injected a 2% controlled ramp
offset into the measured frequency signal. The resulting
simulated frequency increased at a rate of 0.25 Hz/s, from
60 Hz to 61.2 Hz. As can be observed in the figure, when
the frequency increases, the plant power drops at a rate of
2.4 MW/s. After 4.8 s, the frequency reaches 61.2 Hz, and
the power of the plant is reduced by approximately 50%. The
over-frequency condition is removed with a controlled ramp
down to 60 Hz at the same 0.25-Hz/s rate. In response, the
plant power increases to its unconstrained power level. This
is slightly higher than the unconstrained level prior to the
november/december 2015

test, due to an increase in the wind speed. The droop and


deadband settings for this test are typical values.
This control can also respond to under-frequency events,
as shown in Figure 2. To allow for an increase of wind plant
active power output in response to an under-frequency condition, some active power production must be kept in reserve.
Therefore, the maximum power production of the wind plant
is constrained to a value less than that available from the wind.
These settings, unlike those of typical governors, are
deliberately asymmetrical between high- and low-frequency
response and can be adjusted to meet specific grid and application requirements.

Governor Response as an Ancillary Service


Provision of governor response has not historically been
regarded as an ancillary service but rather as an expectation for generation on interconnected systems. By traditional
practice, it is common for thermal and hydro plants to have
governor functions enabled, although exceptions are widely
found. For example, nuclear power plants rarely have governor response.
In the case of providing governor response from wind
plants, it is critically important to recognize the inherent
asymmetry of wind power production: the available wind
power at any given moment sets the upper bound on available power. Wind turbines are designed to maximize the
electrical energy output based on the wind energy input with
the highest possible efficiency. No control action on the part
of the wind turbines can increase this upper bound. Thus,
it is normally possible to make less power than is available
from the wind, but never more on a sustained basis because
operation becomes less efficient and economical.
As shown in the field tests described previously, in order
to increase power over a sustained period, the power must be
limited a priori by spilling wind. Thus, providing this up
governor response amounts to a continuous loss of energy
production and an intentional underutilization of the wind
plant. This is fundamentally different from plants that are

inherently able to temporarily generate power beyond their


rating or predisturbance operating point, in that the use of
this function has a substantial opportunity cost. Thus, just as
with other types of generation that cannot provide governor
response without high opportunity (or other) costs, a market
mechanism is required for this function.
Provision of governor response could be enabled by an
ancillary services agreement. It might be scheduled to operate only at defined times of the day or year. Alternatively, it
could be selectively enabled according to overall grid operating conditions. The function is most likely to be valuable
and economically feasible under conditions of high wind and
light power system load.
By comparison, the down response has essentially no
opportunity cost, and can be provided very effectively as an
ancillary service. Because of its controllability and speed,
the down response of wind plants can be markedly superior to that available from conventional thermal or hydro
plants and, thus, has significant value for system reliability.
It makes sense for this function to be enabled under all operating conditions.

Power Scheduling and Ramp-Rate Control


As noted in the discussion on governor functions, wind generation can usually produce less power than is available from
the wind, but not more. Limiting the output of a wind plant,
called curtailment, may be necessary for several reasons.
Two major reasons are congestion (the grids inability to
accept or deliver power because of transmission infrastructure limitations) and reserve limitations (inability to accept
wind power because of constraints on other resources providing various reserve ancillary services).
Figure 3 demonstrates the ability to curtail to a tightly
controlled power schedule. In this field measurement, a
30-MW plant with GE 1.5 MW wind turbines is shown curtailed at various levels. Over the course of two hours, the
scheduled curtailment is lifted from 10 MW at the start to
no limit by the end. The wind trace shows there is sufficient

Power
2% Frequency
Increase
(1.2 Hz f)
50% Power
Reduction

Frequency

10 s/div

figure 1. A demonstration of over-frequency governor


response.
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10 s/div
Frequency
10%
Power
Increase

4% Frequency
Reduction
(2.4 Hz f )
Power

figure 2. A demonstration of under-frequency governor


response.
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15
10
Power (MW)
Wind Speed

90
10
0
11
0
12
0

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

Wind Speed (m/s)

20

10

Power MW

7E

-0
8

35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Time (min)

figure 3. A demonstration of power ramp-rate limitation.

wind resource to produce rated output of 30 MW throughout the two-hour period, so, of course, the final output is a
steady 30 MW. It is of interest to note that the scheduled
limit is held tightly; the power variations around the limit
are barely visible in the plots, even though the wind speed is
moderately variable. The figure also shows the power ramp
limiter maintaining a specified rate of change in power output between each successive step. In this case, the plant is
not allowed to increase its power output at a rate faster than
5% per minute. However, a wide range of ramping speed
(both faster and slower) may be set in the controls if needed.
This ability to tightly hold and ramp the output enables
wind generation to provide the same benefits to the grid as
any other conventional technology, and because the speed
of ramping may be set faster or slower for wind plants, it is
arguably more flexible than what conventional units provide.
A unique limiting technique is used to maximize energy
capture of the plant while at the same time enforcing an overall power ramp limit for the system. The ramp limiter does
not impose a rate of change on any single power-producing
turbine until the plant power rate of change approaches the
limit. This technique allows each turbine to respond to local
changes in wind conditions and each turbine to ramp its
power independently of the other turbines. Only when the
entire response of the collective plant approaches the ramp
limit will the control enforce a ramp limit for the plant.

Power Scheduling as an Ancillary Service


As with the governor response discussed earlier, this functionality is most likely to be valuable and economic at
times of high wind and light load. Ramp-rate limits can be
set to meet the requirements for specific grids and applications. Ramp-rate limits can be imposed for grid operating
conditions that warrant their use and need not be continuously enabled.

Controlled Inertial Response


(Fast-Frequency Response)
The response of bulk power systems to system disturbances
is of great concern to those responsible for grid planning
and operations. System events that include loss of generation
normally result in transient depressions of system frequency.
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The rate of frequency decline, the depth of the frequency


excursion, and the time required for system frequency to
return to normal are all critical bulk power system performance metrics that are affected by the dynamic characteristics of generation connected to the grid. Typically, in the first
few seconds following a loss of a large generating plant, the
systems frequency dynamics are dominated by the inertial
response of the operating generation. The behavior of conventional synchronous generation is well understood, and it
is relied upon by the grid for secure operation. These synchronous turbine-generators inherently contribute some of
their stored inertial energy to the grid due to the units physical properties, reducing the initial rate of frequency decline
and allowing slower governor actions to stabilize grid frequency. However, most modern MW-class wind generation
does not exhibit this inertial response. This raises concerns
that systems with a high penetration of wind generation will
exhibit unacceptable frequency response.
Now an inertial response capability for wind turbines,
similar to that available with conventional synchronous generators for large under-frequency grid events, is available.
The response from wind generation is neither inherent nor
based on physics alone; it is a controlled response in the
first ten seconds of a large event. Therefore, this response in
this time frame can also be characterized as fast-frequency
response. Most large mainstream wind equipment manufacturers offer inertial fast-frequency response functionality
today, albeit by means of various different control methodologies and implementation strategies. This offers the industry
the advantage of diversity regarding how this function generally mitigates the reliability risk of frequency excursions
due to the loss of large generation pockets.
The GE WindINERTIA feature demonstrates the effectiveness of fast-frequency inertial control for wind plants.
For large under-frequency events, the feature temporarily increases the power output of the wind turbine in the
range of 510% of the rated turbine power. The duration
of the power increase is on the order of several seconds.
Below rated wind, stored kinetic energy from the turbinegenerator rotors is temporarily donated to the grid but is
recovered later. This inertial response is essentially energy
neutral. At higher wind speeds, it is possible to increase
the captured wind power, using pitch control, to temporarily exceed the steady-state rating of the turbine. Under
these conditions, the decline in rotor speed is lessened, and
the energy recovery is minimal. This feature utilizes the
energy stored in the rotor to provide an increase in power
only when needed. Hence, this feature does not adversely
impact annual energy production.
Unlike the inherent inertial response of synchronous
machines, inertial wind turbine generator (WTG) response
depends on active controls. Further, the response is shared
with controlled variations in the active power necessary to
manage the turbine speed and mechanical stresses. These
stress-management controls take priority over inertial
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Inertial Response as an Ancillary Service


Inertial response has not traditionally been considered an
ancillary service, but rather a natural and uncontrollable
characteristic of the power system. Consequently, introduction of technology that makes inertial response controllable
and that requires specific changes to generation is a substantial change. Ultimately, grid codes may be (and, in a few
cases, have already been) modified to include some type of
inertial response requirement. This demonstration shows
that such functionality is, indeed, possible. However, it also
shows that inertial response identical to that of synchronous generation is neither possible nor necessary. Inertial
response of wind generation is limited to large under-frequency events that represent reliability and continuity-ofservice risks to the grid. The crafting of new grid codes and,
ultimately, consideration of inertial response as an ancillary
service should, therefore, proceed cautiously and focus on
functional, systemic needs.
In the case of wind plants using GE technology, the
WindCONTROL active power control, if enabled, will also
november/december 2015

respond to significant under-frequency events as a speed governor would on a conventional unit. The command for this
response emanates from the wind plant level and is delivered
to each individual WTG. In order to increase active power,
the plant must be partially curtailed so that additional power
can be extracted from the available wind. This incremental
power order signal will add to that from WindINERTIA,
which is local to the individual WTG. The total response of
the WTG to these two signals is coordinated to respect the
physical capabilities of the WTG. Other wind manufacturers
provide similar functionality.

Wind Plant Control of Reactive Power


For many wind plants, especially large remote projects,
traditional approaches to managing reactive power are no
longer acceptable. A large wind plant may consist of a hundred or more individual wind turbines, separated by tens or
even hundreds of kilometers of electrical collector system.
However, the power system needs are dictated at the point
of interconnection with the host grid. Wind plant controllers by some manufacturers achieve improved voltage/voltampere reactive (VAR) control by using the inherent VAR
capabilities integrated into each wind turbine and precisely
controlling the turbines VAR output to maintain voltage at
the point of interconnection. This coordinated control system senses ac system conditions and instructs the individual
turbines within a plant to adjust their local control objectives
to meet system needs. The control system provides tight
closed-loop regulation of utility system voltages. This hierarchical control minimizes voltage flicker, improves system
stability, reduces the risk of voltage collapse, and minimizes
the impact of system disruptions.
This provides two major benefits. First, the impact of
active power fluctuations from wind variation on the grid
voltages is minimized. Second, the fast and precise voltage control effectively strengthens the grid, improving
the overall power systems resilience to large disruptions.
While some manufacturers use wind turbines dynamic
capability alone to meet voltage regulation requirements,

1,800
1,500
Power (kW)

control. Turbulence may mask the response for individual


turbines at any instant in time, but overall plant response
will be additive.
Overall, the control is designed to provide functional
response similar to that of a synchronous machine. However,
unlike the inherent response of a synchronous machine, the
response is not exactly the same under all operating conditions. The design has sufficient margin over the turbine
operating range to meet the equivalent energy (kW-s) contribution of a synchronous machine with 3.5-s p.u. inertia for
the initial seconds.
Field test results of the control for various wind speeds
on a single wind turbine are shown in Figure 4. The field
data was generated by repeated application of a frequency
test signal to the control. The results, at various wind
speeds, were then averaged and plotted. Below rated wind
speed (<14 m/s), the results clearly demonstrate the inertial
response and recovery. Above rated wind speed, the inertial
response is sustained by extracting additional power from
the available wind.
The control has a number of differences from the inherent
inertial response of a synchronous machine. First, and most
important, the control is asymmetric: it only responds to low
frequencies. High frequency controls are handled separately
by a different controller, as discussed previously. Second, the
deadband ensures that the controller only responds to large
eventsthose for which inertial response is important to
maintain grid stability and for which seriously disruptive consequences, like under-frequency load shedding, may result.
Finally, a controlled inertial response means the speed is a
function of the control parameters. The standard settings are
tuned to provide good coordination not only with the inertial
response of other generation on the system but also with the
governor response of conventional generation as well.

1,200
900
600
8 m/s Avg Meas
14 m/s Avg Meas

300
0

10

20

30

10 m/s Avg Meas

40 50
Time (s)

60

70

80

figure 4. A field demonstration of the GE WindINERTIA


response.
ieee power & energy magazine 27

Wind generation is now reaching substantial penetration levels in


many regions, and grid integration has emerged as a potential limit
on further development of this environmentally friendly resource.
Voltage Regulation

other mainstream manufacturers choose to provide dynamic


reactive capability with another flexible alternating current
transmission system device, such as a static synchronous
compensator (STATCOM). The end result, however, is
functionally the same in regard to tightly controlled plantlevel voltage regulation performance. Voltage regulation
from wind plants is a proven technology that has been
available for many years. The plant control system can also
control VAR at a point of interconnection a distance away
from the wind plant, coordinate additional static capacitor/reactor banks, and control the startup and shutdown
sequence of the wind plant.

Wind Plant Voltage

Figure 5 shows the response of a wind plant, consisting


of 108 GE 1.5 MW WTGs, to 60 minutes of highly variable wind speed. This wind plant is connected to the grid
by a dedicated 42-mi, 230-kV transmission line. The short
circuit capacity at the remote point of grid interconnection is quite low compared to the 162-MW rating of the
wind plant, approximately 670 MVA, yielding a plant level
short circuit ratio around four p.u. under normal operation.
Accounting for the wind plant collector system, the short
circuit strength ratio is even lower, around 2.3 p.u. under
some conditions.

Wind Speed

Voltage at POI

(a)

Wind Speed
Wind Plant Power Output

(b)

figure 5. A demonstration of voltage regulation performance during variable power output conditions: (a) the wind plant voltage and the voltage at the point of interconnection with the grid; (b) the wind plant power output for the same wind speed.
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november/december 2015

Now an inertial response capability for wind turbines,


similar to that available with conventional synchronous generators
for large under-frequency grid events, is available.

The specifications of this particular system required


regulation of the voltage at a remote point of grid interconnection. To avoid dependence on telecommunications, the
line-drop compensating feature was used to synthesize the
voltage at the point of interconnection, 42 mi from the measurement points at the wind plant substation.
Despite the challenges of a very weak grid and the
requirement of regulation of a remote voltage, performance
of this system has been excellent. Figure 5(a) shows the wind
plant voltage and the voltage at the point of grid interconnection. The wind velocity is also shown, but without a scale.
In Figure 5(b), the same wind velocity is shown, along with
the wind plant power output. Despite larger than 20% variations in generated power, the voltage at the interconnection
bus is quite invariant. The voltage flicker index, Pst, is less
than 0.02 for this high stress conditionwell within industry expectations. Most of the voltage variations are within a
few hundred volts on the 230-kV system.
As the density of wind plant projects increases, especially in geographic areas best suited to wind power production, new challenges arise in coordinating multiple wind
power plants operated in voltage-regulation mode. One
such challenge is balancing reactive power contributions
from two or more plants so as to avoid the fighting that
tends to occur, with one plant sourcing reactive power and
another nearby plant consuming reactive powerresulting
in little net reactive power contribution to the grid. GE is
developing a new feature known as multiplant coordination to coordinate two or more wind power plants such that
multiple wind plants work together to regulate the voltage
of one upstream bus while simultaneously balancing the
reactive power contributions of each plant and allowing the
grid to better utilize the reactive capability of the collective
wind power plants.

Extended Reactive Capability as


an Ancillary Service
In North America, it is an interconnection requirement to
provide voltage regulation. In addition, North American
Electric Reliability Corporation regulations mandate that
voltage regulators be activated and follow a prescribed voltage schedule. Historically, the reactive capability requirement was placed on individual generators (e.g., +0.90/0.95
at the machine terminals). With wind plants, these types of
requirements have morphed into minimum reactive power
ranges specified at the point of interconnection (e.g., 0.95
november/december 2015

power factor). The intent is to achieve technology neutrality


and to allow a combination of reactive power from turbinegenerators and other equipment within a plant to meet the
requirement.
The control system that produced the performance demonstrated in Figure 5 uses shunt reactive devices to augment
the reactive capability of the turbines. This raises an interesting ancillary service opportunity: wind plants with these
types of controls could be designed to offer reactive capability ranges significantly greater than the minimum required
by the grid code. The locationally dependent value of this
extra capability could be incentivized with an appropriate
ancillary services agreement. This concept extends to the
technology introduced in the next section.

Reactive Power Control Without Wind


The latest advancement in WTG technology provides control of reactive power output even when the wind turbine
is stopped. Currently, all MW-class wind turbines stop in
response to sustained wind speeds below a minimum threshold or when wind exceeds a high speed cut-out. They may
also be disconnected from the grid in response to severe system disturbances. Under such conditions, both real power
to serve load and reactive power to support system voltage
are lost.
WTGs that are equipped with this reactive power control
provide smooth, fast voltage regulation by delivering controlled reactive power even when the wind turbines are not
generating active power. Such a function cannot normally be
provided by conventional (e.g., thermal or hydro) generation,
because production of reactive power from these generators
requires that the generator (and, therefore, the turbine) continue to spin at synchronous speed.
From a systemic perspective, the reactive power capability is similar to that provided by various dynamic reactive
devices (e.g., synchronous condensers, static VAR condensers, STATCOMs) that are used for grid reinforcement where
dynamic voltage support is required.
GEs WTGs use large power converters. This decouples
the generator speed from the power system frequency and
allows for a wide operating speed range. The power converters rely on two major components: the generator-side
converter and the line-side converter, which connects to the
grid. It is important to recognize that the line-side inverter
is self-commutating. This provides it the ability to independently deliver active and reactive power. When there is no
ieee power & energy magazine 29

Field Test Results (2.5 Unit)


1,500
Turbine kVAR

Reactive
Power

Active
Power
(Zero)
0

75
Time (s)

100

figure 6. A demonstration of reactive power with no wind.

active power available from the turbine, the converter can


continue to deliver or absorb reactive power.
Test results for a single wind turbine operating with the
GE WindFREE zero power reactive control are shown in
Figure 6. Throughout the test, the real power output is zero,
while the reactive power output varies. This independent
controllability of reactive power enables voltage regulation,
regardless of wind condition. Other mainstream wind turbine manufacturers offer similar functionality.

Reactive Power Supply


as an Ancillary Service
Planners have long recognized the need for reactive power
and, in particular, the value of fast, dynamic VAR of the
type that can be delivered by wind turbines. Nevertheless,
ancillary services markets that offer incentives for independent participants to provide this service are only just
emerging (such as is the case in New York). The behavior
is similar to traditional synchronous condensers, and the
applicability parallels situations where generators (usually, gas turbine generators) are provided with a clutch
that allows operation as a synchronous condenser when
grid (and market) conditions demand it. Historically, this
capability is usually utility-owned, so transparent market
mechanisms are lacking.
The systemic operational value of being able to deliver
reactive power is very location-specificmuch more so
than control of active power. The most significant benefits
are observed for systems with substantial dynamic reactive
power requirements. These include very large projects, projects that are physically remote with electrically weak connections to the grid, and projects in areas with heavy and
variable loads. Wind power plants equipped with this feature
will provide effective grid reinforcements by maintaining
continuous voltage regulation.

Conclusion
Commercially available wind power plants today are
capable of meeting the full range of grid requirements and
already provide performance similar to that ofand, in

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some cases, superior toconventional generating equipment. The technology has evolved because of the growing
demand for advanced functionality in active and reactive
power control to maintain the integrity of the bulk system,
and it has been proven to work well in many operating wind
plants supplied by various manufacturers throughout the
world today. This opens the possibility for wind plants to
provide ancillary services to the power system. Wind plants
are available today with the full range of these services.
Mechanisms to enable the value of these functions and features through interconnection requirements, grid codes, and
market incentives continue to evolve as a necessary means
to maintain power system integrity, reliability, and economical operation.

For Further Reading


Florida Reliability Coordinating Council Event Analysis Team interim recommendations report. (Feb. 26,
2008). [Online]. Available: http://www.balch.com/files/upload/FRCC_Interim_Report_6_3_08.pdf >
M. E. Cardinal and N. W. Miller, Grid friendly wind
plant controls: WindCONTROLField test results, in
Proc. WindPower 2006, Pittsburgh, PA, pp. 16.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Wind Operations
Task Force. [Online]. Available: www.ercot.com/committees/
board/tac/ros/wotf
California Energy Commission. (2007, July). California
Energy Commissions Intermittency Analysis Project Study.
Appendix BImpact of intermittent generation on operation of California Power Grid. [Online]. Available: http://
www.energy.ca.gov/2007publications/CEC-500-2007-081/
CEC-500-2007-081-APB.PDF
K. Clark and N. Miller, Advanced controls enable wind
plants to provide ancillary services, in Proc. IEEE Power
Engineering Society General Meeting, Minneapolis, MN,
2010, pp. 16.
N. Miller, K. Clark, and G. Jordan, Planning and operating power systems with a high percentage of wind generation: Taking advantage of the latest wind plant controls, in
Proc. Amercian Wind Energy Assoc., June 6, 2007, pp. 18.

Biographies:
Jason MacDowell is with GE Energy Consulting, Schenectady, New York.
Sudipta Dutta is with GE Energy Consulting, Schenectady, New York.
Matt Richwine is with GE Energy Consulting, Schenectady, New York.
Sebastian Achilles is with GE Energy Consulting, Schenectady, New York.
Nicholas Miller is with GE Energy Consulting, Schenectady, New York.


p&e

november/december 2015