Wind Plant Connection Impact Studies

Services for the wind generation industry

Wind power is the fastest growing source of new electric power generation in the world. The cost of energy from large commercial wind plants in good wind sites is now competitive with that from more conventional sources, and costs are forecast to decline further with future generations of multi-MW turbines.

Large wind plants are complex dynamic systems, comprised of many individual wind turbines interconnected with the transmission grid through an extensive medium voltage collector network. Auxiliary systems and equipment may be employed for reactive power control and voltage regulation within the network or at the point of interface to the transmission grid. Supervisory control systems monitor and direct the operation of individual turbines and auxiliary equipment in real time.

POWER-tek has extensive experience with wind turbine technology, wind plant design and operating issues, and technical questions associated with transmission grid interconnection and power system operation. Our years of power systems engineering expertise, along with more than a five years of experience working with wind generation technologies and systems, is unparalleled in the industry. We can assist with almost any power system issue relating to electric system planning, design, and operations relating to wind, including:

Bulk transmission system studies

Evaluate the impacts of large wind plants on bulk transmission system operations, including steady-state and contingency analysis, impacts on interregional power transfer capability, network voltage stability, reactive power requirements and transient stability.

Distributed wind plant integration studies

Assess the influence of smaller distributed wind plants on distribution feeders and local loads, including voltage flicker, harmonics, and protective system operation.

Design and operations analysis of wind power plant systems

Evaluate intra-plant electrical systems within large wind plants, focusing on:

  • Reactive power management
  • Voltage regulation
  • System dynamics including capacitor operations and reactive power generation from advanced turbines
  • Event analysis to determine root causes
  • System and equipment performance validation and design improvements
  • Investigations of equipment misoperation and failure

Technology consulting

Provide expert opinion and perspective on wind generation and electrical system technologies, including power electronics and electric machinery for wind turbines and transmission and distribution system equipment. We also provide expert testimony in patent and other legal matters related to wind generation technology.

Monitoring and information systems

Specify, design, install, and operate data acquisition systems for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on plant operations. These systems provide data for event analysis, equipment and system performance verification, and forensic investigations into equipment failure.

Special studies

Use sophisticated simulation and analysis tools to conduct specialized and custom studies of new technologies for wind generation applications, including advanced power electronics systems for wind turbine and electric power system applications.

Our staff has extensive experience working with a wide range of clients on wind issues.

  • Interconnection studies required by regional reliability councils and individual utilities for approval of requests to interconnect with the transmission system.
  • Transmission capacity and voltage stability studies, which can be critically important for wind plants located in sparsely populated areas remote from large load centers.
  • Investigations of wind plant operating problems, including distribution feeder voltage unbalance and regulation, nuisance turbine transformer failures, induction generator self-excitation, capacitor bank switching failures, harmonic resonance, high neutral-to-earth potentials on rural utility feeders paralleling wind plant collector feeders, and surge protection equipment failures.
  • Wind plant and wind turbine electrical system design improvements – improving feeder and turbine voltage regulation, reactive power management strategies, and dynamic thermal rating of transformers for increased capacity.
  • Technology assessment and evaluation – design projects for state-of-the-art wind turbine and wind plant technology, including advanced power electronics, control technologies, and novel electric machinery.
  • Technology consulting – expert testimony and analysis in intellectual property and patent matters, and in support of insurance or contractual issues.
  • Leading-edge research and development – assessing the impact of substantial amounts of wind power on utility control area operations planning and scheduling, determining ancillary services requirements (regulation, load following, reserves) for wind plants, quantifying the value of next-hour and next-day wind forecasting from a control operations perspective.

Detailed simulation and modeling

Developing sophisticated electromechanical models of wind turbines, electric machinery, and power electronics elements for time-domain computer simulations to enhance design processes and improve system performance.