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Pilot project for delivery of balancing services by wind farms in Belgium

Published 20 October 2015

WindVision, Enercon, Eneco and Elia announce the successful finalization of the “R2 downward wind” pilot project, demonstrating the technical capability of wind farms to deliver advanced balancing services to the electricity grid.

The massive integration of renewables, like solar and wind generation, in the electricity grid represents a challenge for keeping the balance between power consumption and generation. In the future it is expected that there will be fewer conventional units running during periods with high renewables infeed. Today these units deliver the majority of balancing services to the TSO. Hence, a further diversification of resources delivering balancing services to the grid is required.

This pilot project therefore investigates the technical capability of wind farms to regulate their power infeed in real-time to balance the active power in the grid. This will facilitate the further integration of renewables in the grid and as such contribute to the fulfilment of the European 2020 energy and climate targets.

Stephan Moelans, CEO of WindVision: "The participation of wind farms in the reserves market will certainly enhance the position of wind generation in the generation mix and stimulate the dynamics for further innovation."

The results of the pilot are very promising for a future participation of wind farms in the secondary control market (automatic Frequency Restoration Reserves) in Belgium. The capability of wind farms to perform fast regulation of their production, with relative high accuracy, has been demonstrated. The pilot project has identified some technical and market related aspects that must be further investigated to facilitate a commercial participation of wind farms in this market in the future.

Within the framework of this project, the Enercon turbines of the Estinnes wind farm of WindVision technically contributed, for a period of about 2 months, to the delivery of secondary control power to the Belgian grid by continuously changing the active power output of the turbines according to a set point defined by Elia. Eneco, being the balancing responsible party of the wind farm, provided nominations for the available secondary control capacity on the wind farm to Elia. The project set up was such that there was no interference with the balancing market.

Source: Company Press Release