How we're developing our power system operations to better support renewable energy.
Evolving Our Power System
We're planning for the future of our power system across the island of Ireland.
A significant part of this is supporting more renewable energy sources.
The Government objective is to transition to 80% electricity from clean energy sources by 2030.
The aim is to accommodate unprecedented levels of nonsynchronous renewable generation onto the power system.
These sources of generation include offshore wind, onshore wind and solar.
This will bring some unique challenges. We need to make changes while maintaining a safe, secure power system.
Delivering on our renewable energy obligations will require a significant evolution in the operation of the power system.
It will bring challenges as we balance supporting renewable energy and keeping curtailment levels to a minimum.
The Shaping Our Electricity Future roadmap includes system operations. It is divided into four main work streams.
The Operational Policy workstream aims to undertake operational studies and analysis. As part of this, we will develop operational policies to facilitate the transition up to 80% RES-E by 2030. We will achieve this by:
- Identifying technical scarcities and operational needs – both now and projected for the future
- Developing operational protocols, policies and procedures
- System studies to evolve key operational metrics including SNSP, inertia, minimum number of units and system strength
- Revising and developing operational policies to assist in operating the power system with new system services provision capabilities, operational systems and tools
Standards and Services
The Standards and Services workstream ensures we have the right operational standards and system services frameworks to support investment in required capability, ensuring we reach up to 80% RES-E and 95% SNSP by 2030. We will achieve this by:
- Clarifying the system technical needs, both now and projected for the future
- Reviewing the Grid Code and bringing forward modifications (and working with the DSOs on the Distribution Code where appropriate)
- Developing technical requirements for the new commercial framework to procure system services
- Publishing standards that service providers must meet on an ongoing basis
- Developing a framework for flexible network management, incentivising the supply and demand sides to provide flexible network services and ease network congestion
The Operational Tools workstream identifies and oversees the delivery of enhanced and new integrated control centre technologies and tools. These are needed to operate the system securely and efficiently with increased renewable energy. We will achieve this by:
- Identifying the needs for enhanced and new tools driven by changing demand, more renewable energy on the network, new interconnectors, and new scheduling and dispatch processes
- Developing the IT, data management and physical infrastructure required to support these developments
- Ensuring that relevant interfaces and data exchanges are in place with the DSOs and other stakeholders
- Ensuring appropriate training in the use of tools
The Technology Enablement workstream facilitates the development and integration of new technologies and innovations on the power system. This enables them to operate efficiently and effectively. We will achieve this by:
- Addressing the challenges associated with the integration of large-scale storage technology
- Facilitating the provision of system services from new and existing RES as well as small-scale flexible generation
- Enabling demand side flexibility to maximise its potential
- Engaging with large energy users to investigate the potential for large energy users to contribute to system flexibility
- Proactively engaging with industry and academia to review emerging technologies which are not covered by the other work streams