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Investigating the impacts of ANM schemes on intermittent DG penetration

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  • Communication
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science


In the last decade, environmental and fuel security concerns have altered significantly how most governments’ approach their energy agendas. Indeed, several energy targets to create a diversified energy portfolio have been placed around the globe. Renewable and low-carbon generation technologies are expected to increase their share in the energy mix in the coming years, whereas a significant proportion of new developments will be connected to distribution networks. Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) now face a scenario where the distribution circuits are no longer passive and technical issues such as voltage control, fault levels, power losses, etc. need to be assessed to allow the adequate integration of Distributed Generation (DG). Additionally, the intermittent characteristics of renewable technologies make this scenario even more challenging from both technical and economic points of view. Consequently, the traditional management of the system is unlikely to efficiently integrate the various new participants. In fact, the current ‘fit and forget’ approach for connecting DG might sterilise the network’s ability to integrate further generation capacity.Active Network Management (ANM), i.e., the use of real-time control and communication systems to better integrate and exploit the different network assets and participants, is a promising approach where several schemes such as coordinated voltage control, dynamic rating, energy curtailment, power factor control and automatic restoration can be applied. However, various technical, – and more importantly – regulatory and commercial challenges are restricting the deployment of ANM schemes.In this work, a multi-period steady-state analysis is proposed for maximising the connection of intermittent DG through an optimal power flow (OPF)-based technique. Here, Active Network Management schemes are considered in order to investigate their impacts on generation capacity maximisation. Coordinated voltage control, energy curtailment and power factor control are used as means to allow maximum absorption of wind power while respecting voltage statutory limits and thermal constraints.A simplified version of a generic medium voltage UK distribution network considering different loading levels and discretised variability of wind power generation is analysed over a year. Results are presented for different loading-generation cases, remarking how different ANM strategies affect the operation and penetration of new generation capacity.

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