Visitor Seminar: Professor Pierluigi Mancarella: “Reliability and Resilience in Low-carbon, Low-inertia Power Systems” Tuesday 13 June 2017

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Date(s) - 13/06/2017
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This is part of our Visitor seminar series.


Our understanding of the classical reliability concepts of security and adequacy is increasingly being challenged by: (a) growing shares of variable renewable energy sources that require new system operation approaches, particularly to deal with decreasing levels of inertia and larger balancing and reserve requirements; and (b) the more frequent occurrence of extreme events (for instance driven by climate change) with potentially catastrophic impacts. There then may be situations when these two challenges occur simultaneously, such as in the September 2016 South Australia “Black System” event.

The primary aim of this seminar is to discuss how, based on both technical and economic considerations, there is a need for introducing new analysis and modelling frameworks that are capable to securely deal with low-inertia system operation and make future low-carbon power systems more resilient to high-impact, low-probability events. The key desirable features of such frameworks will be presented, alongside a suite of modelling tools recently developed and relevant metrics that can support assessing risk and resilience of future systems.

The key question that will then be asked is whether the system should be made “bigger” (e.g., making the system more redundant or robust, through investment into new transmission and generation asset, component hardening, etc.) or “smarter”. Consideration for the latter will include analyzing the role of new operational strategies (e.g., frequency response-constrained optimal power flow, dynamic scheduling of the largest contingency, controlled islanding, etc.) as well as of smart grid technologies (e.g., Fast Frequency Response from various sources, system integrity protection schemes, etc.).

The South Australia “Black System” event of September 2016 (and its consequences) will be taken as a case study to illustrate some of the general concepts presented, with particular focus on new security requirements (particularly for frequency response and voltage stability) that could also help in dealing with extreme events in low-inertia power systems.

Key recommendations to make future low-carbon, low-inertia power systems more reliable and resilient will finally be provided.