The maximum wind power output on the west coast will be occasionally reduced during transmission outages in the coming months
Fingrid will set the maximum wind power output from the west coast at a level lower than normal during planned transmission outages in the coming months. In practice, the change will have the greatest effect when peak wind power output coincides with transmission outages. This action is necessary to ensure grid stability and will be taken in close cooperation with wind power producers.
Finland’s transmission system operator Fingrid is responsible for ensuring the stability of the power system. Numerous changes will be made to the 400-kilovolt network on the west coast in the summer and autumn, and new substations will be built. This work necessitates planned transmission outages, which can only be implemented in a managed way by taking action to ensure grid stability. In practice, this means that Fingrid will impose a lower-than-normal maximum for electricity production on the west coast, affecting the volume of electricity produced, especially during high wind power output.
The regional adjustments to electricity production will take a few weeks and affect the amount of energy produced. Depending on the wind speed in the area, the electricity output during transmission outages may be up to 2,000 megawatts lower relative to the installed capacity. The maximum production volume is now being set at a lower rate than estimated in February due to new results obtained from studies into outages.
Driven by sharp growth in production and new technology
The need to adjust the regional maximum electricity production during planned transmission outages is due to the sharp growth in wind power production on the west coast. A substantial amount of clean, renewable production has been built in the region. The significant regional concentration of production may challenge the transmission grid’s stability under abnormal operating conditions, especially prior to the completion of new grid investments in 2025, 2027 and 2028. In the west coast region, wind power production is connected within the constraints of typical transmission grid operating conditions. At the same time, new investments in the region’s transmission grid have been launched at an accelerating pace.
The maximum output depends on transmission outages and the technology used in wind power plants. The large-scale deployment of power converter technology in transmission grids is a new phenomenon internationally. As the technology becomes more widespread, new challenges and related solutions will emerge regularly. Based on calculations completed in the late spring, the transmission outages planned in the summer will have a larger impact on the maximum volume of electricity production on the west coast than estimated earlier in the year. Revised analyses now indicate that voltage control deficiencies at power plants could lead to voltage fluctuations, which may harm other parties connected to the grid. Fingrid is actively working with customers and power plant suppliers to identify solutions for improving voltage control operations and avoiding potential harm during planned outages and disturbances on the west coast.
Exceptional circumstances, such as necessary outages and possible disturbances, now require a maximum production volume to be set. In the event of a disturbance, it may also be necessary to limit production momentarily.
Tuomas Rauhala, Senior Vice President, Fingrid, tel. +358 30 395 5197
Timo Kaukonen, Manager, Operational Planning, Fingrid, tel. +358 30 395 4228
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