The large increase in contribution of intermittent resources such as
wind and solar energy sources is impacting reliable and secure
electricity distribution. In order to maximise the many benefits
associated with DRESs, including reducing dependence on fossil fuels and
decreasing associated emissions, integration into the current
infrastructure must be effectively managed.
Funded by the EU, the project INCREASE
(Increasing the penetration of renewable energy sources in the distribution grid by developing control strategies and using ancillary services) is developing tools to allow distribution system operators to go beyond retroactively managing congestion to proactively managing capacity in low- and medium-voltage networks. More efficient use of DRESs will increase penetration, potentially reducing costs for operators and consumers.
Within the first project year, the team developed the principle modelling units for the integrated platform such as power distribution lines, load scenarios, and corresponding control devices and interfaces. The control system, based on the multi-agent system paradigm, was integrated into the network simulation platform and the researchers have begun optimising coordination of multiple services or objectives. Scientists are now beginning the process of implementing and validating the proposed control strategies.
In parallel, researchers are evaluating the current regulations and market mechanisms regarding DRES operation. Investigators have already developed a conceptual framework addressing the potential impact of barriers to implementation on the business plan options of the various market participants. It lays the groundwork for delivery of a well-organised and structured proposal to the European Commission regarding the optimal business plans and regulatory frameworks governing them.
Communication and dissemination is going strong. The website is up and running and continuously updated with press releases, newsletters and the project brochure. A workshop dedicated to the INCREASE project was held at the Smart Grid event in Austria, and partners have presented project progress at numerous conferences.
INCREASE plans to significantly enhance penetrations of DRESs in the existing grid infrastructure through a holistic treatment of control technologies, potential market mechanisms and a regulatory framework. Taken together, the project will contribute to increased sustainability of power distribution at a lower cost to the consumer.