Business Energy Broker
The National Grid ESO’s green light to modify the ‘grid forming’ code marked a world-first achievement and critical milestone for a net-zero system.
Earlier in the year, the National Grid ESO announced that, for the first time, they could procure grid stability services, such as inertia and frequency support, from renewable generators. In a critical milestone for net-zero targets, wind, wave and solar generators can provide stability services that were previously only delivered by generators using traditional fossil fuels for reliability.
This has become possible due to a change to the GB Grid Code, a rulebook for everything connected to the national grid. By changing the specifications of the ‘grid forming’ code, renewable generators and interconnectors can be included to compete to provide stability services alongside synchronous generation operators.
National Grid ESO’s market team lead, Tony Johnson, said:
“This is a breakthrough moment, a key piece in the energy transition jigsaw, that will ensure we can operate a fully decarbonised grid and deliver on our net-zero commitments.
It’s the culmination of up to 10 years of thinking and working with stakeholders to find the common ground between what equipment is capable of doing and what the system needs.
It also ensures that as we transition away from conventional fossil-fuelled generation, we can operate the grid securely and efficiently, which will ultimately save consumers money.”
Grid stability is of forefront importance to deliver reliable power across the UK by maintaining a steady 50Hz frequency and avoiding voltage fluctuations.
Grid forming enables converter connected equipment, equipment connected to the grid via an HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) connector, to provide the stability support similar to generators connected directly to the transmission system. The converter’s control systems can quickly respond to system conditions and simulate the response of a direct connection.
This technology enables the transition away from fossil fuel support and stability services while ensuring energy security for the UK.
This is also a global milestone as the UK is the first to achieve this connection and implementation with renewable generators to support an energy transition.