Transmission Planning – Ensuring Grid Reliability
MARKET SIMULATION MODELING: Transmission Planning – Ensuring Grid Reliability and Generation Delivery
By Jason Atwood | Director of Business Development firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 4 of 4.
Transmission planning cannot be performed in a vacuum. Accurate transmission planning should consider resource planning when developing the grid of the future.
Transmission circuits are constructed for a number of reasons including reliability, economics, and public policy. When transmission is constructed for reliability purposes, the circuit, even though labeled for reliability, delivers some level of economics to the grid. The opposite is also true. An economic transmission circuit delivers some degree of reliability. Just as reliability and economics are inseparable, transmission and generation planning should be performed in a unified manner. Transmission and generation cannot be totally separated because they drive one another. For example, the panhandle of Oklahoma, the panhandle of Texas, and western Kansas are rich wind resource areas that developers have focused on for decades. As the area became constrained, several economic transmission projects were constructed. As new transmission developed, so too did more generation. It’s a circular process. When the focus is transmission but the primary driver to the grid is generation, consider where the resource expansion is taking place. Transmission planning can only be done with nodal simulations. EnCompass simulates nodal analyses by adding a powerflow case to its high-quality zonal database. Generators and loads are mapped to the appropriate buses to ensure accurate modeling.
Planning transmission is an iterative approach. Hypothetically, if a merchant transmission company was trying to alleviate congestion in a particular region and had three projects in mind, it would analyze between three and seven iterations including each individual circuit, different combination of two circuits, and three circuits together. Consider how many iterations the RTOs must run when they receive over one thousand potential transmission projects in their annual planning processes.
There is a cost associated with submitting new transmission circuits for consideration into the RTO planning process so it’s important to analyze circuits and determine which transmission line provides the greatest value to the grid and to the rate payers. If an analyst identified ten circuits that could be advantageous, how would they determine which circuits to submit into the process? Market simulations is the solution. Market simulations help analysts narrow the number of circuits submitted by providing data that aids in determining benefits. RTOs have various ways to determine benefits. Some take a narrow approach and only examine metrics such as adjusted production costs while others expand the value metrics to include reduction of transmission losses, emission reductions, avoided or delayed reliability projects, ancillary services need, and public policy benefits. To determine these types of metrics a nodal model is required. The most successful merchant transmission companies are those that conduct market simulations. EnCompass output includes production cost, emission levels, energy and ancillary service prices, and losses to determine benefit of proposed transmission circuits.
MARKET SIMULATION MODELING: EnCompass Is the Only Power Planning System Needed
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Transmission and generation planning cannot be separate. Generation drives transmission expansion and transmission provides an outlet for generator expansion. When modeling simulations that look 20 to 30 years to the future and contain uncertainty, a product that can forecast resource expansion and market operations is vital.
A single power planning software that is fully integrated allows analysts to incorporate a resource expansion plan into the zonal model with only a couple of mouse clicks. Zonal analysis provides direction on where to site generation for nodal simulations. Planning is an iterative process. Licensing EnCompass for resource expansion, zonal, and nodal capabilities allow an unlimited number of potential scenarios to be run rather than relying on a single base case assumption of the future.
Having a single integrated software that uses the same database validates results rather than relying on multiple programs or databases shoe-horned together. It’s also an advantage to have software where the inputs and outputs are in the same format so large adjustments to the data can be made if needed.
Analysts run multiple simulations. EnCompass allows users to take advantage of embedded grid computing. This feature allows several simulations to be submitted, enter a queue line, and start the simulation when computing space becomes available.
The level of granularity in market simulation modeling assumptions is very important, especially in next day to next month forecasting. An example of this would be natural gas prices. EnCompass models daily natural gas prices which will produce more accurate results than modeling a single gas price for the entire month. Monthly gas prices are adequate to look several years into the future but are not helpful for near term analysis.
For those involved in Integrated Resource Planning, find out which software is widely accepted among individual states. Using software that is trusted with state utility commissions makes the process easier and eliminates the task of trying to reconcile between different software and state regulators will appreciate it, too.
EnCompass is flexible, easy-to-use software for all facets of power planning and forecasting. The agile system has extensive capabilities to develop power supply plans, determine the economic value of power projects, and evaluate the impact of market, environmental, and regulatory changes. Your software should have all features available from the main windows and not tucked away where a major search must be conducted to find them.
Market simulation modeling is a must for planning generation and transmission and forecasting critical market data like zonal and nodal LMPs, generator operations and curtailment, congestion costs, emission levels, fuel usage, transmission congestion, basis differential, and the list goes on. Simulations allow us to adjust system demand, generating parameters, fuel prices, emission rates, and model new transmission lines and generators resulting in the ability to make informed decisions.
EnCompass is flexible, easy-to-use software for all facets of power planning and forecasting. The agile system has extensive capabilities to develop power supply plans, determine the economic value of power projects, and evaluate the market, environmental, and regulatory changes.
Learn more about EnCompass Power Planning Software and our 30-day free trial.