Rapid worldwide integration of variable renewable resources on a large scale, combined with retirement of many conventional fossil resources in parts of the world, poses a new set of challenges to power system planners and operators. The high variability of wind and solar generation creates levels of net load ramping and system regulation requirements never observed in the past. The retirement of conventional power plants, along with displacement of other fossil plants as a result of renewable generation, is dramatically eroding the levels of system inertia, governor response and regulation present in a system to control system frequency. On the other hand, the arrival of utility scale energy storage on the scene is adding a whole new category of fast regulating resource options and innovative market products have potential for addressing some of these issues.
These new challenges in grid operation highlight a need for advanced modeling tools to study grid performance and effectiveness of new operational strategies. DNV GL’s simulation tool KERMIT is proving to be valuable in analyzing these complex factors for power systems of all sizes. In a recent gathering at ERCOT, the electricity grid and market operator in Texas, grid and market operators and researchers from academic institutions from the U.S. and Europe discussed recent studies and future needs for analyzing and improving grid control in a changing power system. This whitepaper highlights several important applications of the KERMIT tool as discussed by users and DNV GL’s client support team at the 2014 KERMIT User Summit.