Review of Virtual Power Plant / Smart Grid Pilot Project

CLIENT: USTDA (with Transelectrica and GE Romania)

WORK SCOPE: USPC was awarded a contract to assess the feasibility of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in Romania. The VPP project objective is to demonstrate the applicability of Smart Grid technologies to the coordinated dispatch of network resources to improve network stability. In the case of Romania, intermittent generation resources such as a wind power plant was to be paired with a hydro power plant. The Smart Grid technology instrumentation was tasked with maintaining a certain Mwh output for the paired resources, by automatically sensing when the wind resources reduced output or stopped producing energy, and automatically adjusting the hydro resources (i.e. quick release hydro) to compensate for the change in output.

SERVICES PROVIDED: Romania has an aging electricity transmission & distribution system. Transmission lines operate across great distances resulting in high energy losses. High growth of renewable energy generation is causing insufficient transmission capacity. Increasing system capacity alone will not guarantee system stability in regions with high wind power production such as Dobrogea. To improve system reliability it should be equipped with advanced grid management, i.e. Smart Grid technology. USPC conducted analyses in the following areas: project technical viability, economic prospects, foreseeable financing potential of the project, likely sources of financing; and potential US exports. USPC also prepared the Terms of Reference for future contracting, cost estimates, and schedule.

Central Controls at Rovinari TPS, 4x330 MW, Gorj County, Romania

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