Use of Frequency Response Metrics to Assess the Planning and Operating Requirements for Reliable Integration of Variable Renewable Generation
An interconnected electric power system is a complex system that must be operated within a safe frequency range in order to reliably maintain the instantaneous balance between generation and load. This is accomplished by ensuring that adequate resources are available to respond to expected and unexpected imbalances and restoring frequency to its scheduled value in order to ensure uninterrupted electric service to customers. Electrical systems must be flexible enough to reliably operate under a variety of "change" scenarios. System planners and operators must understand how other parts of the system change in response to the initial change, and need tools to manage such changes to ensure reliable operation within the scheduled frequency range. This report presents a systematic approach to identifying metrics that are useful for operating and planning a reliable system with increased amounts of variable renewable generation which builds on existing industry practices for frequency control after unexpected loss of a large amount of generation. The report introduces a set of metrics or tools for measuring the adequacy of frequency response within an interconnection. Based on the concept of the frequency nadir, these metrics take advantage of new information gathering and processing capabilities that system operators are developing for wide-area situational awareness. Primary frequency response is the leading metric that will be used by this report to assess the adequacy of primary frequency control reserves necessary to ensure reliable operation. It measures what is needed to arrest frequency decline (i.e., to establish frequency nadir) at a frequency higher than the highest set point for under-frequency load shedding within an interconnection. These metrics can be used to guide the reliable operation of an interconnection under changing circumstances.