The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will make up to $7 million of funding available for studying how how solar parks, wind farms or enabling technologies such as batteries can provide grid stability and security services.
Australia’s increasing use of renewable energy can add to system security challenges. Current techniques for managing system security events include requiring gas plants to curtailing how much electricity is produced by solar and wind farms.
ARENA will be looking for projects that offer new opportunities for renewable and supporting technologies to provide system services traditionally performed by coal and gas-fired power plants.
These projects can include system strength provision, frequency control ancillary services (FCAS), fast frequency response (FFR), inertia provision and measurement and other services that may enhance system security.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said demonstrating how renewables could stabilize fluctuations in frequency and voltage could help pave the way for more renewables to join the grid.
“System security has been a key focus of industry regulators, the market operator and participants. It was also the priority of the Finkel Review,” Frischknecht said.
“As our electricity system transforms from a system of centralized synchronous generators to more diversified generation that includes more and more renewables, we need to find ways to deliver power system stability and security using less fossil fuels,” he concluded
Previously, ARENA funded a successful trial of FCAS at Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia and a trial at Musselroe Wind Farm in Tasmania, which is ongoing
Hornsdale is now registered for six of eight FCAS markets and will provide insights into the cost-benefit of using pre-curtailment to provide FCAS services from a new technology source.