skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Integrating Solar PV in Utility System Operations

This study develops a systematic framework for estimating the increase in operating costs due to uncertainty and variability in renewable resources, uses the framework to quantify the integration costs associated with sub-hourly solar power variability and uncertainty, and shows how changes in system operations may affect these costs. Toward this end, we present a statistical method for estimating the required balancing reserves to maintain system reliability along with a model for commitment and dispatch of the portfolio of thermal and renewable resources at different stages of system operations. We estimate the costs of sub-hourly solar variability, short-term forecast errors, and day-ahead (DA) forecast errors as the difference in production costs between a case with “realistic” PV (i.e., subhourly solar variability and uncertainty are fully included in the modeling) and a case with “well behaved” PV (i.e., PV is assumed to have no sub-hourly variability and can be perfectly forecasted). In addition, we highlight current practices that allow utilities to compensate for the issues encountered at the sub-hourly time frame with increased levels of PV penetration. In this analysis we use the analytical framework to simulate utility operations with increasing deployment of PV in a case study of Arizona Public Servicemore » Company (APS), a utility in the southwestern United States. In our analysis, we focus on three processes that are important in understanding the management of PV variability and uncertainty in power system operations. First, we represent the decisions made the day before the operating day through a DA commitment model that relies on imperfect DA forecasts of load and wind as well as PV generation. Second, we represent the decisions made by schedulers in the operating day through hour-ahead (HA) scheduling. Peaking units can be committed or decommitted in the HA schedules and online units can be redispatched using forecasts that are improved relative to DA forecasts, but still imperfect. Finally, we represent decisions within the operating hour by schedulers and transmission system operators as real-time (RT) balancing. We simulate the DA and HA scheduling processes with a detailed unit-commitment (UC) and economic dispatch (ED) optimization model. This model creates a least-cost dispatch and commitment plan for the conventional generating units using forecasts and reserve requirements as inputs. We consider only the generation units and load of the utility in this analysis; we do not consider opportunities to trade power with neighboring utilities. We also do not consider provision of reserves from renewables or from demand-side options. We estimate dynamic reserve requirements in order to meet reliability requirements in the RT operations, considering the uncertainty and variability in load, solar PV, and wind resources. Balancing reserve requirements are based on the 2.5th and 97.5th percentile of 1-min deviations from the HA schedule in a previous year. We then simulate RT deployment of balancing reserves using a separate minute-by-minute simulation of deviations from the HA schedules in the operating year. In the simulations we assume that balancing reserves can be fully deployed in 10 min. The minute-by-minute deviations account for HA forecasting errors and the actual variability of the load, wind, and solar generation. Using these minute-by-minute deviations and deployment of balancing reserves, we evaluate the impact of PV on system reliability through the calculation of the standard reliability metric called Control Performance Standard 2 (CPS2). Broadly speaking, the CPS2 score measures the percentage of 10-min periods in which a balancing area is able to balance supply and demand within a specific threshold. Compliance with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability standards requires that the CPS2 score must exceed 90% (i.e., the balancing area must maintain adequate balance for 90% of the 10-min periods). The combination of representing DA forecast errors in the DA commitments, using 1-min PV data to simulate RT balancing, and estimates of reliability performance through the CPS2 metric, all factors that are important to operating systems with increasing amounts of PV, makes this study unique in its scope.« less
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States