Wind and National Grid stuff


An example is given of a Eurostar train, which has a 5MW instantaneous change in demand when it goes from an accelerating phase to a coasting phase. This is compared to the largest fluctuation in an hourly interval observed from a large wind farm was only 20% of rated capacity. Thischange was also not an instantaneous change but a gradual reduction.

BM Start-Up

National Grid will offer BM Start-Up contractual arrangements to Generators for provision of 'energy readiness' capabilities that can be converted into timely energy utilisations, synchronised reserves or frequency response services.

Hot Standby
Following a generator’s start up preparation, it may be necessary to hold it for a period of time in a 'state of readiness' to generate at short notice. Under these circumstances, fuel will be used or energy taken to maintain this state of readiness. National Grid will offer 'hot standby' contractual terms to Generators who are able to maintain such a state of readiness and hence provide flexibility in the provision of timely energy utilisations, synchronised reserves or frequency response services.

Why is it needed?
An adequate Operating Margin is required at the day-ahead timescale, as contingent generation reserves in excess of forecast demand, to ensure that system security can be properly managed. BM Start-Up is used by National Grid in carrying out its residual balancing role to assist in ensuring sufficient plant availability on-the-day to meet demand plus reserve requirements.

Major Technical Requirements
BM Start-Up provider must:
Have the ability to take on warmth to reduce the time taken to synchronise to within Balancing Mechanism timescales.
Be able to maintain such a state of readiness to synchronise for an agreed period of time.

Fast Reserve

Fast Reserve provides the rapid and reliable delivery of active power through an increased output from generation or a reduction in consumption from demand sources, following receipt of an electronic despatch instruction from National Grid. Active power delivery must start within 2 minutes of the despatch instruction at a delivery rate in excess of 25MW/minute, and the reserve energy should be sustainable for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Fast Reserve is used, in addition to other energy balancing services, to control frequency changes that might arise from sudden, and sometimes unpredictable, changes in generation or demand.
Fast Reserve is procured via a monthly process and requires pre-qualification to establish a framework agreement prior to tendering.


National Grid recognises the importance of climate change issues and that the government’s targets for growth in CHP and renewable generation are likely to lead to continuing increases in
embedded generation. It is important for National Grid to play its part in facilitating this by ensuring that any transmission issues arising are appropriately addressed. At present, no insurmountable transmission problems associated with accommodating new embedded generation projects are foreseen. Indeed, the properties of the interconnected transmission system are such as to facilitate embedded generation growth regardless of location.
Nevertheless, this does not preclude the potential need for reinforcements to the national electricity transmission system, the extent of which would be a function of the system location of the new plant. For example, the extent, and therefore cost, of transmission reinforcement would be a function of the volume of offshore wind located off the England and Wales coast or onshore wind located in Scotland. . There is considerable ongoing work in this area which is published by the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG):

National Grid’s responsibility in the Balancing Mechanism is to balance generation and demand and to resolve transmission constraints. The intermittent effect of wind (i.e. its output is naturally subject to fluctuation and unpredictability relative to the more traditional generation technologies) coupled with the expected significant diversity between regional variations in wind output means that, while the balancing task will become more onerous, the task should remain manageable. Provided that the necessary flexible generation and other balancing service providers remain available, there is no immediate technical reason why a large portfolio of wind generation cannot be managed in balancing timescales.
In the longer term, we do not think it likely that there will be a technical limit on the amount of wind that may be accommodated as a result of short term balancing issues, but economic and market factors will become increasingly important, most notably the potential impact of both the interim and enduring connect and manage regimes.

This site give a daily breakdown of the contribution of the various Renewable to California’s Total Demand.

The challenges of intermittency in North West European power markets

Wind turbine life cycle:
All the stuff anyone could ask for:

The most recent Life Cycle Analysis is here for a 3MW Standard machine.

From the Vestas web page
Our aim is to develop an increasingly efficient range of turbines that produce energy as effectively as possible. In doing so, we constantly strive to minimise the consumption of raw materials used in manufacturing.

Wind power makes minimal environmental impact
Taking the long term view, the impact on the environment for a wind turbine life cycle of 20-25 years is minimal when compared to that from average European electricity production by other means. This is based on considerations such as:

  • Manufacturing of raw materials
  • Production of components
  • The wind turbine’s energy production
  • Decommissioning of the wind turbine

Of course, the use of raw materials in manufacturing a wind turbine has a negative impact on the environment – as does the production of any form of plant. Balanced against this is the fact that as much as 80 per cent of some turbines are recyclable. But most important of all are the undisputed positive environmental benefits that come from clean and renewable wind power.

For example, a V90-3.0 MW offshore wind turbine will pay for itself more than 35 times during its lifetime – producing 284,600 MWh over the course of 20 years in a good location. To put this in perspective, that’s equivalent to the combined average annual electricity consumption of more than 84,000 Danish households*.

*Source: Energy Statistics [Energistatistik 2004], published by the Danish Energy Authority [Energistyrelsen]

LCA reports and environmental product declaration

In keeping with our belief in transparency, we’ve published LCA reports on two of our wind turbine types – the V80-2.0 MW and V90-3.0 MW. The report for V80-2.0 MW was prepared in collaboration with the consulting firm Elsam Engineering A/S, with the life cycle assessment being prepared according to ISO 14040-43*. An external consultant conducted a critical review of the calculations. We have also produced an environmental product declaration (EPD) for the V90-3.0 MW wind turbine, which contains the most important conclusions from the LCA report.

*The reports lives up to all the standards in ISO 14040-43 with the exception of the examination by interested parties, which was not conducted.

 Neodymium - no way

ENERCON news  ENERCON WECs produce clean energy without neodymium
29.04. 2011
ENERCON wind energy converters (WECs) generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way without the use of the controversial element, neodymium. The gearless WEC design on which all WEC types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based includes a separately excited annular generator. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. By design, and unlike the majority of competing products, ENERCON WECs do without permanent magnets whose production requires neodymium.
Neodymium has made the headlines recently because its extraction partly involves significant environmental damage. China, where neodymium-containing rocks are quarried in mines, is the main supplier of this so-called rare earth element. According to investigations by Germany’s NDR TV station, separation of neodymium from mined rocks results in toxic waste products (Menschen und Schlagzeilen and Panorama television magazines aired on 27 and 28 April). In addition, radioactive uranium and thorium are released by the mining process. These substances find their way into the ground water, heavily contaminating plant and animal life. They are seen as harmful to humans. According to the reports, part of the locals at the neodymium production sites in Baotou in northern China are already seriously ill.
ENERCON feels that these environmental and health aspects support its choice of WEC design. “We are a high-tech company that sets great store by environmental protection,” says ENERCON Managing Director Hans-Dieter Kettwig. “Our choice to rely on separately excited generators was the right one, not only from a technological but also from an environmental point of view.” According to Kettwig, renewable energies need to be viewed in their entirety in order to offer a convincing alternative. Producing clean energy is one thing; however, sustainability in production is just as important.

From UK ofgem
The scale of the challenge today

1.39. According to NGET, an increase in intermittent forms of generation such as wind will increase its balancing costs through reserve costs, frequency response, and constraints costs.2 NGET did not specifically measure the contribution made by wind to its System Operator costs in 2007-08, but it estimated that the reserve costs associated with the 2.5GW of installed wind capacity were around £17m. It further estimated that the additional costs of the 500MW of extra wind capacity that are expected to be operational in 2008-09 will increase its costs by a further £10m. The majority of this increase (£8m) would be spent on ensuring sufficient reserve generation, which is required due to the high error factor associated with wind forecasting, £2m of the increase would result from fast reserve and frequency response costs, and around £70k would be spent on constraint costs3.

1.40. It is likely that the annual cost of reserve will increase significantly as the proportion of wind generation increases. Predictions for future costs range from £4-£7.50 for each additional MWh of wind placed on the system4. A cost of £7.50/MWh applied to the projected level of wind capacity of 14 GW by 2014-15 would cost an additional £275m in balancing costs in that year (assuming a 30% load factor). By way of comparison, balancing costs for the whole system in 2008/09 are forecast to be around £530m. The challenge therefore, is to ensure appropriate incentives are in place to ensure these costs are managed and the available reserve capacity is used in the most efficient way. This is manageable under current arrangements.

From a FOI request real data for a 1MW machine


£889,650 turbine cost

£434,583 planning and consultancy

maintenance cost €0.0055 per kilowatt hour - 12 year guarantee

As reported to Council in December 2009 a pay-back period of approximately 7-8 years has been calculated. This is based on a full capital cost of £890,000 and a basic provision of £30,000 to cover routine expenditure

Lots more info in link

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