Aug 4 (Renewables Now) – The Hawaiian island of Maui is slated to become the first power grid of its size to run 100% wind and solar power on an instantaneous basis, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory said last week ( NREL), which is helping the island prepare for this moment.
Maui currently has nearly 200 MW of wind and solar power and is expected to add 175 MW of hybrid solar storage by 2024, which will be enough to power its roughly 70,000 customers without conventional generation for many hours of the day. year, says NREL. .
“No one has operated an electrical system the size of Maui’s with 100% solar, wind and battery power; To confidently operate a network with 80-100% UPS-based resources on an instant basis, we can take important steps. the lab and in the field to prepare, ”said Andy Hoke, senior research engineer at the lab.
According to Jin Tan, principal investigator of several NREL projects pursuing 100% renewable grid operations, inverter-based resources like wind, solar and battery storage can provide all types of ancillary services to the grid by scheduling the commands, but system operators generally do not use them.
NREL has developed software – the Multiple Timescale Integrated Planning and Planning (MIDAS) model – that enables grid operators to manage highly renewable systems by providing them with operational intelligence and advanced system analysis.
Thanks to MIDAS, Maui was able to plan ahead for more renewables by modeling its operations under future low grid inertia, NREL said.
The lab’s efforts include a comprehensive electromagnetic transient (EMT) analysis of the island that modeled its entire transmission system and was followed by a snapshot simulation of the future Maui system.
“We have found that as Maui approaches 100% renewable operation, there are several options to ensure grid stability,” Hoke said. “By using synchronous capacitors to stabilize, or even by programming grid forming commands on a relatively small number of inverters, it is possible to stabilize a 100% renewable system on Maui, at least in simulation,” the researcher added. .
NREL is also leading a $ 3.6 million (€ 3 million) project to develop hybrid renewable power plant orders that combine stabilization orders with the MIDAS operational framework. NREL will first use a platform that provides a replica network environment in Maui to develop and eliminate the risk of real-power hybrid power plant controls.
The final stage of the project will be a 60 MW demonstration on the Maui system.
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