Hampton Wind Farm
Wind energy is clean and has the potential to supply many times the total current global energy production. Although wind energy is reasonably predictable, it is significantly variable. The ramp rate that can be associated with generation of wind energy can create integration challenges for utilities and ISOs/RTOs and limit progress by wind farm developers.
UltraBattery – smoothing the wind.
Wind power cannot be controlled. Wind farms exhibit greater uncertainty and variability in their output compared to conventional generation. In power systems, which already manage a large degree of uncertainty due to the need for generation and loads to be equal, demand is constantly matched with generation to maintain system frequency. The variability and uncertainty of wind power further increases uncertainty in the system, affecting its physical operations. Further challenges with supporting increased penetration of intermittent resources are related to congestion issues in the transmission and distribution system as well as the mismatch between wind availability and prevailing demand. Often, local networks are constrained, with renewable energy being forced to be curtailed. Being able to integrate wind power into the grid effectively therefore relies on an efficient and effective wind power storage system.
Effective Ramp Rate Control: An immediate solution to wind integration challenges is to control the ramp rate of wind output. The objective of the Hampton wind smoothing project is to demonstrate and optimize methods of applying UltraBattery® storage to constrain the 5-minute ramp rate of renewable output from the Hampton Wind Farm before presenting it to the grid. The aim is to achieve higher penetration of wind and renewable energy in grid systems.
Ecoult provided and integrated a MW scale wind power storage system using UltraBattery® technology. Ecoult demonstrated the ability to limit the 5-minute ramp rate to 1/10 of the raw output while applying wind power storage with a usable capacity (in kWhs) of 1/10 the rated output of the farm (in kW).
The findings of the Hampton wind smoothing project support the ability of UltraBattery® to facilitate a higher penetration of wind and renewable energy in grid systems while at the same time increasing the value derived from each MWh used through implementation of intelligent algorithms controlling variability.
While the Hampton system enables smoothing of wind power produced ‘at the source’ on the wind farm, the ability of UltraBattery® energy storage to significantly reduce energy variability is transferrable to wherever ramp rate control and/or ramp rate reductions are beneficial: for example at grid nodes and substations, or via the provision of ancillary services generally.