FCAS



When the NEM’s Largest Generating Unit Trips …

A follow-on to my earlier article of a couple weeks ago, looking at another instance where a team effort was required to counter a drop in system frequency following the loss of generation at a large power station (this time the single unit Kogan Creek power station – the largest single unit in the NEM).



Power System Frequency – What is it doing? – Why does it matter?

The East Coast power system of Australia has the worst frequency regulation in the developed world. This puts the system at risk whenever an event occurs which requires the generators to respond quickly – they can’t respond quickly if they have to wait for the system frequency to go outside its control system dead band.


Short term forecasting of wind power plant generation for the provision of ancillary services

As NEM wind power plants progressively work towards implementing FCAS, the criticality of ensuring that the power system either a) takes account of the variability in the wind forecasts coming from the wind power plants in the coming 5-7 minutes and follows the wind direction, or b) sets an appropriate dispatch level to ensure wind variability is minimized, becomes even more important for market and power system operators.









NEM FCAS causer pays factor issues for wind and solar farms

Generators used to consider the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) FCAS causers pays factors (CPF), used to allocate FCAS regulation costs across the market, as an obscure and unimportant technically challenging curiosity. Since 2014, the cost of FCAS regulation services for generators has increased from just under $5 million per year to greater than $60 million for 2016 and now has the attention of all of the generators, especially if their portfolio includes generation assets in regions with a lack of FCAS regulation providers and high prices such as South Australia.


Fast Frequency Service – Treating the symptom not the cause?

The National Electricity Market (NEM) is designed to operate at 50 Hz. Frequency deviation occurs when generation and load are mismatched. It is important in a lightly meshed and long network such as the NEM to maintain tight frequency control and that frequency response is available throughout the network.


Let’s talk about FCAS

Ancillary Services Matter! No longer just realm of electrical engineer or energy trading boffins, ancillary services (and particularly Frequency Control Ancillary Services or FCAS which will concentrate on today) have become front and centre in so many ways that barely a day goes by without market observers referring to grid stability, inertia or frequency management.