With the growing relevance of distributed renewable energy sources (DRES) in the generation mix and the increasingly pro-active demand for electricity, power systems and their mode of operation need to evolve.
A number of emerging trends indicate that the interaction between transmission system operators (TSO) and distribution network operators (DSO) will evolve in the coming years. Examples of these trends are the electrification of energy consumption and the increasing volume of distributed generation being connected to the distribution grid. The article is based on a discussion paper published by IEA ISGAN Annex 6.
DISCERN will provide distribution system operators (DSO) with a better understanding of best-practice system solutions for monitoring and control of their Low Voltage and Medium Voltage grids. Up to now, these grids are characterized by non-existent or low observability. With mostly centralized generation, it was historically not necessary to implement systems to monitor and control distribution networks. Due to the changing patterns of electricity production, and greater penetration of decentralized generation on the MV- and LV-level, the electricity distribution systems require new modes of operation, increased levels of monitoring and control and potentially a different architecture to maintain the high quality of power supply.
The complexity of today’s power system is constantly increasing. Its rising generation diversity, intermittency and bidirectional power flows are pushing, together with increasing peak demand for additional, ready-to-use flexibility and paving the way for Virtual Power Plants (VPP) to take an important role in future power system management. Existing alternative technologies such as peak following power plants, transmission grid extensions and storage systems are suffering from either low public support, long lead times, poor performance or cost inefficiency and are thus less viable alternative.