Webinar: Big, Fast and Flexible: Grid Operations for Efficient Variable Renewable Integration

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is hosting a no-cost, webinar-based training titled Big, Fast and Flexible: Grid Operations for Efficient Variable Renewable Integration. This webinar is part of the GreeningTheGrid.org toolkit, a USAID and NREL collaboration designed to support countries in integrating renewable energy into the power system.

A growing body of research and operational experience highlights the value of large balancing areas and fast system operations to cost-effectively integrating high penetrations of wind and solar on the grid. The institutional and regulatory context governing a power system strongly shapes the strategies available for increasing both the size and speed of its operations. For example, wholesale power markets can take advantage of competitive mechanisms such as energy imbalance markets to coordinate with neighboring power systems to expand the balancing footprint. In contrast, vertically integrated monopolies may rely more on policy, internal dispatch processes and contractual mechanisms to improve access to diverse balancing resources.

This webinar will discuss three different pathways, along with implementation considerations and examples for each, for enhancing the size and speed of grid operations for efficient variable renewable integration. Discussion topics include:

  • "Big and fast:" two design principles for systems with large amount of variable renewable energy
  • Examples and implementation considerations for achieving big, fast systems:
    • Wholesale power markets
    • State-owned and operated systems
    • Regulated vertically integrated utilities

The webinar will be presented by Dr. Michael Milligan from NREL and will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience, moderated by Dr. Jennifer Leisch from USAID.

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