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  • Work packages 

    50Hz

     Package 1 - Monitoring and control system 

    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. 

    Power station

     Package 2 - Assessment of the response of different providers 

    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 frequency response.

    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 response rate.  

    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 signal.

    Wind farm

     Package 3 - Optimisation 

    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. 

    Frequency control

     Package 4 - Validation 

    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. 

    solar2 

    Package 5 - Dissemination

    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. 

    Hydro

      Package 6 - Commercial 

    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. 

    EFCC illustration

    Package 7 - Communication

    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 cost-effective way.