At the heart of the project is the development of an innovative
monitoring and control system (MCS). It will examine events in the transmission
and distribution networks at a regional level and instruct the relevant
response from a range of resources. This MCS will use available and additional phasor measurement units
(PMUs) - devices which measure the electrical waves on an electricity grid - to
monitor the network. A central control agent will then instruct response from
the frequency service providers. A control platform will be developed, which will connect to the service
providers and communicate control signals to them. The MCS will form the cornerstone of a world-class response service that
will reduce delays in conventional frequency response and take advantage of the
potential of newer technologies. It will also develop better co-ordination between more diverse frequency
response providers - including short-term fast-acting and long-term slower
response - making for a more flexible frequency response market.
A diverse range of frequency control resources will be trialled in order
to measure their response potential, such as speed of response, time sustained
and predictability. The work package will be divided into four parts:
2.1 - Demand-side response (DSR)
DSR resources will be assessed in order to test and demonstrate their response.
The goal is to develop and demonstrate the operation of real industrial and
commercial aggregated DSR resources to support system inertia. These will then
be put to work providing new categories of fast response services.
2.2 - Large-scale generation
Following upgrades, both South Humber Bank-2 and Langage power stations will
have much wider operating potential, enabling them to provide key services to
National Grid. We aim to demonstrate that large-scale generation from combined
cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) can respond to a RoCoF (rate of change of frequency)
input and signal.
2.3 - PV power plant
The capabilities of solar PV resources will be tested and demonstrated. Among
our goals will be to demonstrate a positive frequency response by operating the
power plant below maximum power point (MPP) and reserving the difference to
2.4 - Storage
The battery storage trial is now being undertaken via the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) DESERT project and is no longer a part of NIC EFCC. Project DESERT will
investigate existing battery storage facilities in the UK and across the world
to determine if these can be used within frequency control. Moving
forward, it will look to demonstrate the principle operability of a frequency
control battery on the network and its ability to provide an extremely rapid
2.5 - Wind
The capabilities of wind farms - Lynn or Inner Dowsing, and Lincs - will be
tested, with the aim of demonstrating that a large, multi-turbine wind farm can
respond to a rate of change of frequency input and/or an external control
Taking the knowledge learned in package 2, the project will work on
co-ordinating the different response technologies to provide the optimal
response. Our academic partners will play an important role at this stage by
proposing proven and robust supervisory control strategies and working with
Alstom to fine-tune the implementation of our control system. System studies
and simulations will be carried out to ensure proper co-ordination of the
individual technologies. These studies will reflect the importance of providing a smooth response
and protecting against the threat of poor co-ordination or failed instructions.
If this were the case, a second, possibly more threatening event, could occur
in the system. Our studies will also look at regional differences in generation
technology and RoCoF (rate of change of frequency), which will help us develop
the best response solutions at local and national level.
Our academic partners will continue to play a crucial role at this stage
of the project as they work to validate our results and ensure they're
accurate. Anticipated results and simulated performance will be verified using
flexible hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) testing facilities at Manchester University
and the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) at Strathclyde University,
along with field trials at selected locations. HiL simulation is a technique
that is used in the development and test of complex real-time embedded systems. This stage of the project allows us to reduce the time, cost, and risk
associated with developing complex new systems. It will also allow us to
identify and fix any problems within the system before its wider roll-out.
All the results and innovative knowledge that we've learned during the
project will be shared with interested parties and stakeholders, with our
academic partners providing significant support. You'll be able to find links to all relevant information here on this
website. We'll also communicate our findings via traditional channels, such as
newsletters, white papers, advertorials, conference and industry event
presentations, and journal publications. Our academic partners will also be opening their laboratory and
demonstration facilities to give interested parties and stakeholders an
opportunity for some intensive, hands-on knowledge sharing.
A new balancing service product that delivers a revolution in frequency
control will be developed at package 6. As this is rolled out, it will quickly
achieve the substantial cost savings in frequency response that we forecast. By bringing renewable generation into the mix of frequency response,
we'll provide the sector with a new source of revenue, encouraging its growth.
New technologies, such as solar PV combined with battery storage, will also
have new commercial incentives to provide response to the Grid. Our academic partners will bring their experience of assessing the economic
value of services to a power system to help us develop the most commercially
beneficial balancing service.
The final stage of NIC EFCC is all about evaluating communication
infrastructure. We'll assess the current technical capabilities of the system
separately, but in parallel with commercial developments. Our activity will include defining the compliance process for service
entrants and evaluating the need for potential upgrades in the wider Energy
Balancing System (EBS). Fast frequency response will be delivered to the Grid in a reliable and