A new toolbox has been created by European researchers to improve the security of European electricity networks and help the shift towards renewables.
The European Union-funded UMBRELLA project unveiled the prototype of a new toolbox for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) during a one-day workshop in Brussels on January 26. The prototype is intended to increase security and safety for future electricity networks throughout Europe, with a specific priority towards the continuing shift towards renewable energy. According to the Mission Statement for the UMBRELLA Project, researchers are “developing an innovative toolbox prototype to support the decentralised grid security approach of TSOs.”
According to the European Community Research and Development Information Service, the “toolbox enables TSOs to act in a coordinated European target system where regional strategies converge to ensure the best possible use of the European electricity infrastructure.”
The fundamentals behind the Toolbox are increasingly necessary in a day and age where electricity networks are encountering more and more intermittent electricity being fed into the grid from renewable energy sources. Many networks aren’t up to the challenge of handling intermittent electricity spikes — when compared to the steady flow of electricity from days gone by, such as that delivered by coal generation — and even if they are, many times the operators themselves need more tools to better manage the new intricacies of grid management.
The difficulty only increases when one takes into account the gradual integration of national European electricity markets into one common European electrical energy market.
The tools provided by the Toolbox provide operators with “remedial actions to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the transmission network, as well as give the operator additional information about the range of uncertainty to be expected.”
“This gives the operators and operational planners the necessary time to prepare the actual implementation of the proposed remedies,” said project coordinator Helmut Paeschke.
Image Credit: Brussels and Antwerp at Night via NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Flickr