ResTable – Improvement of Renewables-based System Services Through Better Interaction of European Control Zones

ResTable is a Franco-German-Portuguese project that will help promote renewable-based electricity grid network system services through better cooperation between European zones. The aim is to ensure the stability of the European electricity network through the expansion of fluctuating power generation from renewable energy. Against the backdrop of a European 100% renewable energy scenario the transferability to the entire European entso-e-grid will be analysed in order to derive milestones to guide the restructuring of the European energy supply to renewable energy.

In ResTable, the methods and approaches to the provision of control power from renewable energy sources (RES) will be developed in the European context and tested in a field trial. On the basis of representative scenarios and use cases a virtual power plant will be designed and implemented which can control a number of decentralised RE systems with automatic polling of primary control power at frequency fluctuations as European system service and the ability to retrieve secondary benefits in individual control zones for transmission network operator (TSO) support. The fulfillment of the availability requirements of the TSO and the cost-effective distribution of the control power to the connected equipment are important requirements. Finally, a power plant prototype will be evaluated in a Europe-wide demonstration. The economic impact of new actors in European control power markets will be examined in simulations to develop proposals for new market mechanisms and marketing strategies.

A major challenge is the development of solutions using appropriate communication structures and interfaces which are able to facilitate the cross-border operation of a pool of renewable generators. To this end, interfaces and protocols will be developed and implemented for the necessary communication between the European TSOs, as well as plant operators, and methods will be developed to optimise and predict the capacity of individual plants.

Here, not only different technological standards, but also different national regulations must be considered. Other important challenges arise from the need to prove not only the technical suitability of the solutions developed for the European market by balancing corresponding energy field trials, but also to develop optimised business models for future players.

For verification of results, in particular the evidence that connects different producers of renewable energy, and the transmission system operators (TSOs), and to test if the control power required can be provided to maintain grid stability, a virtual power plant will be constructed. This power plant will be realised through the development of an existing virtual power plant platform at Fraunhofer IWES and used in the field tests.

Project partners: ARMINES MINES-ParisTech, Artelys, ENERCON, Fraunhofer IWES, HESPUL, HydroNEXT, INESC, TEC, Maïa Eolis, SolarWorld

Photo credit: “www.colourbox.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Fraunhofer IWES.

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