FGE Colloquium 06/22/2020: Flexible assets prevent congestions in the transmission grid


On 22 June 2020, another colloquium organised by Forschungsgesellschaft Energie (FGE) took place. It has been the second one during this semester and because of COVID19-pandemic it was the second online-event as well. The topic „Accelerating the Energiewende: utilizing fast flexible grid solutions to transform power networks“ met with a tremendous interest. More than 250 participants discussed with experts about powerflow-controlling devices for an optimised utilisation of existing transport capacities in the transmission grid, which is a highly up-to-date topic considering that from the year 2023 on, after the German nuclear phase-out, Ad-hoc-measures for a fast deployment of such equipment need to be carried out according to the German Network Development Plan (NDP). Meeting this challenge, the Static Synchrounous Series Compensator (SSSC) was presented as a possible solution, which is a modular, flexible and fast-deployable asset for the transmission grid.

The basis of discussion was formed by a study about the deployment of SSSCs for relieving typical congestions in the German transmission grid. The study was carried out under the leadership of Dr.‑Ing. Annika Klettke (IAEW, RWTH Aachen University). From the results, it got clear that the needed redispatch volume could be significantly reduced by using the SSSC for a better utilisation of already-present transport capacities. Dr. Klettke emphasised that the SSSC, in contrast to other power-flow controlling devices like phase shift transformers (PST), is advantageous because of its modularity, flexible control and easier deployment.

In the following panel discussion, Giles Dickson from WindEurope, Dr. Stefan Mischinger from Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena), David Wright from Nationalgrid (UK), Dr. Bartosz Rusek from Amprion and Gregg Rotenberg, CEO of SmartWires, discussed about the deployment of such devices for an optimised utilisation of the existing grid.

There was a strong consensus between the speakers concerning the need of flexible and innovative assets like the SSSC. David Wright talked about the experience of nationalgrid (UK) from carrying out a project that aims at the better usage of present transport capacities by deploying SSSCs. He classified the SSSC as very cost-effective and innovative product, which could reduce the overall costs for grid development. Concerning grid development, Dr. Stefan Mischinger pointed out that economy and politics especially value the market maturity of products when it comes to a long-term grid development plan, which needs to meet complex requirements on the one hand and is very cost-intensive on the other hand. Dr. Bartosz Rusek emphasised the ongoing decrease of large generation units, which also leads to the need of more innovative assets in order to guarantee frequency and voltage stability and effectively prevent network oscillations. Gregg Rotenberg finally came to the conclusion that in the future, the coexistence of grid development and flexible technologies is important. After every speaker had made a statement, a discussion with participants followed. At the end of the event, Prof. Dr.‑Ing. Albert Moser summed up that with the introduction of the SSSC, another innovative tool for an optimized [RS1] grid operation is now available in addition to already used innovative tools, which for instance are dynamic line rating, grid boosters and PSTs.

For further information see the präsentation and video below.

Link to the video.