Regulatory Update   |   Aug 29th, 2017 NERC Releases “Lessons Learned” Regarding Wind Turbines and System Performance Issues

NERC Regulatory Wind Turbines and System Performance Issues

NERC's recently published “Lessons Learned” for the North American utility industry provides new information regarding reliability risks and performance issues for systems with high dependence on wind resources for generation. With less synchronous generation online, an increasing number of power systems are expected to experience more periods with low inertia and low available fault current levels.

This “Lessons Learned” guidance followed system disturbances affecting the South Australia and Texas (ERCOT) electric grids. The key takeaways include:

  • Wind generation owners need to review and verify the voltage ride-through capabilities of their equipment, clearly communicate those capabilities and ensure that the models correctly reflect those capabilities.
  • Wind generation owners must review and verify that uninterrupted power supply and “Smart Crowbar” systems within the wind turbines are maintained and functioning properly.
  • High-speed phasor monitoring unit data is critical for visibility into the magnitude of voltage disturbances related to the loss of wind turbines (or grid resources of any type).

NERC has recognized the changing nature of generation resources and, appropriately, is seeking to get ahead of the curve and inform utilities that may have yet to experience high proportions of wind resource penetration, but soon could, about operational issues that could ensue.