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An enhanced risk-based system development process: a case study from the Belgian transmission network

A transmission system owner (TSO) is responsible for building, maintaining and operating an adequate transmission network to ensure safe system operation, security of supply, facilitated grid access as well as meeting the national and regional objectives. System development is crucial part of a TSO’s activity, and it deals with taking decisions to best de- velop the adequate transmission system while taking economic efficiency into account and coordinating decisions with the neighbouring transmission and distribution systems.

In Europe, the need for greater market integration and for economically efficient grid connection of different renewable energy sources (RES) is well acknowledged to support the European energy strategy and objectives. This leads to important investment in power system to be sure that the appropriate amount of transmission network capacity is available on time.

The GARPUR consortium [1] is looking into challenges related to reliability management of power systems in three time horizons, namely system development, asset management and system operation. The authors of this paper are mainly involved in the system development part of the project, and hence is the focus of this paper.

Building on the system development process proposed in the GARPUR project [2], this paper demonstrates the applicability of this process on a real transmission grid. We consider a part of the Belgian regional transmission network located in the North-West of Belgium and borders France. This network includes approximately 30% wind power, 10% pumped storage and 5% photo-voltaic (PV) generation capacity of the overall generation capacity, respectively. Such diverse mix of genera- tion makes this part of the Belgian network an interesting case study for risk-based system development.

We consider the problem of identifying need for investment in this network for the year 2030. Using appropriate assumptions on the growth of PV, wind and other generation capacities, we build a large set of representative operating conditions. Next, this set is reduced set using appropriate clustering algorithm and clustering variables. The reduced set of operating conditions forms the basis of our system devel- opment model that checks the operability of each operating condition and identify critical operating conditions: operating conditions that breach operating standards or for which the system operational costs are too expensive. Furthermore, the proposed analysis aims at defining indicators used to select the most appropriate investment that meet the objectives. Amongst these indicators, the assessment of maintainability of the grid is presented in this paper.

Data and assumptions are crucial to the system development process. In this paper, using real transmission network data, we demonstrate the need for building a large set of credible future operating conditions to validate system development decisions. We show that checking system development decision on a few operating conditions is no more adequate in a power system with high penetration of RES. We also demonstrate the application of a clustering algorithm to build representative operating conditions that not only give better representation of future operation, but provide a system development planner with a confidence to propose investments.

The main contributions of this paper are as follows:
1)a new modelling framework that is appropriate for system development studies;
2) application of a clustering algorithm to produce representative operating states;
3) proposal of guidelines for system development planners to allow them to identify future needs.

[1] GARPUR Consortium, “Current practices, drivers and barriers for new reliability standards,” 7th framework programme, EU Commission grant agreement 608540, Nov 2014. [Online]. Available: http://www.garpur- project.eu/deliverables
[2]——, “Upgrading of the decision-making process for system development,” 7th framework programme, EU Commission grant agreement 608540, Jan 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.garpur- project.eu/deliverables


Waqquas Bukhsh    
University of Strathclyde
United Kingdom

Keith Bell    
University of Strathclyde
United Kingdom

Arnaud Vergnol    

Antoine Weynants    

Jonathan Sprooten    


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