The demand for electricity is on the rise across multiple industries and locations around the globe. A grid is a network that interconnects between production, transmission, and consumption of electricity and plays a crucial role in the distribution of power to consumers. The conventional methods of storing and producing electricity have operated on the basis that power is supplied to meet demand, which often leads to excess power at different times. The increasing awareness and adoption of clean energy sources have led to flexible grids due to their variability.
How Is Grid Flexibility Achieved?
Various ways can be used to ensure grid flexibility both in the short term and long term timeframe. Flexibility can be achieved by using several methods such as using batteries, fast-ramping natural gas plants, improved weather forecasting, and dispatching electricity at shorter intervals. Improving operations is cost-effective, as it utilizes existing infrastructure and requires little modifications. It also incorporates advanced technology which efficiently matches supply to demand which leads to better accountability.
How Can Grid Flexibility Be Increased?
1. Shortening Dispatch Schedules
Several operational improvements can be adopted to increase grid flexibility. Shortening dispatch schedules is one of the most common methods by enabling a rapid response to changes in power supply. The traditional dispatch interval for many systems has been one hour, but this is shifting to shorter time intervals. Short-time interval dispatch enables grid operators to respond quickly to fluctuations in electricity demand and supply from variable renewable sources. Second is having improved weather forecasting, which can help plan dispatch and transmission schedules frequently, reducing the need for operating reserves. A high-quality weather forecast that can predict output on a two to five-hour interval can significantly increase efficiency and reliability.
2. Consolidating Balancing Areas
Moreover, grid flexibility can be increased by consolidating balancing areas. This can be achieved by merging the existing balancing areas or trading electricity between existing balancing areas. Having a diverse portfolio of energy sources balanced over a wide geographical area reduces variability by a great margin. This is achieved as output is localized; therefore, larger areas are less prone to much variability.
3. Demand Response
Demand response is another effective way of increasing grid flexibility. This refers to a suite of demand-side options such as using more electricity in times of surplus and less in times of scarcity. An example is the dynamic electric vehicle charging, whereby vehicles are charged during oversupply and low prices and cease charging during times of scarcity and high prices.
Peak Substation operates under the PEAK paradigm – Professional, Experience, Accountable and Knowledgeable and is able to meet the needs of our clients. Peak Substations is committed to professionally designing flexible grids that will yield great benefits to our clients, such as reduced costs.