Keywords: wind power penetration, grid connection network, operation system security, wind energy, Ireland, grid connection moratorium, grid codes, dynamic modelling, wind turbines
Wind energy and system security – the grid connection moratorium in Ireland
This examines the interaction between technical challenges and policy choices that are made regarding wind power, and uses the grid connection moratorium in Ireland as a case study. While total installed wind capacity in Ireland is low compared with Germany, Spain and Denmark, wind power penetration is higher in the Irish system than in either the British, UCTE or NORDEL systems. In December 2003 the system operators expressed concerns about high wind power penetration, in particular the challenges of maintaining power system stability, security and reliability, resulting in a moratorium on new grid connection agreements. Significant progress has since been made in grid codes and dynamic models for wind turbines. In March 2006, there remain almost 3000 MW of proposed wind capacity awaiting a grid connection agreement. This paper investigates the technical issues underpinning this moratorium, monitors progress made since its introduction and suggests alternative technical solutions to the moratorium.