Subject: Ancillary services
Date: 2010-10-04 (at 22:28:46)
1. I still think the ancillary services overview should be changed to emphasize response to sudden loss of generation or transmission instead of fluctuations in demand since those are less important. (Incidentally there are also reverse services to cope with sudden loss of load due to transmission or distribution failures, which requires rapidly removing generation to restore balance).
2. This primary role of frequency control ancillary services in responding to generation or transmission failures is particularly important for understanding costs and limitations of renewables. eg ZC2020 is proposing a very brittle system in which 2-3GW wind farms and 3.5GW solar thermal are attached to grid via single points of failure. This would raise ancillary services requirements from a few hundred MW to a few GW and require more than the available 5GW of hydro to provide 6 second, 60 seconds and 5 minute responses to losses.
3. Smart meters may well help with system stability in the sense of adding to 6 second, 60 second and 5 minute response capabilities. But turning off airconditioner compressors and refrigerators for as long as it could take to fix a failed HDVC converter station or other single point of failure would not be considered "smart". AS WELL AS a fast response for stability that smart meters could help with (just as industrial interruptible loads do already) there HAS to be actual generator capacity available for a reasonable time afterward that can be brought online during the short period of grace provided by the demand response.
4. Also attaching 2-3.5GW ZCA2020 renwables would, just like with large nuclear and other plants, require multipled transmission lines at a multiple of the cost of transmission from remote areas with renewable resources that they have allowed for.
fc - I have asked you previously to respect the rules, and while benign, your mention of Nuclear here suggests you have not taken these in. Please do so.