British wind farms are now solving the same problems they create for the grid operator — and lowering consumer bills in the process. With fewer and fewer fossil generators left in the U.K. generation mix, and more and more renewables, the network is under strain. But more than 100 large wind farms are now providing grid services to balance out the variable nature of renewables. A new “power-available” signal gives National Grid ESO visibility into all participating wind farms, allowing the grid operator to see how much they can contribute to providing grid stability. This was the final piece of the puzzle required to enable wind farms to participate in those flexibility markets. All this is part of National Grid ESO’s plans to be able to support a fossil-fuel-free network by 2025. The latest solution comes just in time. The grid operator has been forced to curtail wind power in huge volumes this summer due to a lack of fossil-fuel generators to provide essential flexibility. The cost of balancing the grid over the summer has more than doubled this year to an anticipated £826 million ($1.03 billion).
GTM 23rd June 2020 read more »