Enhancing Renewable Energy Dispatch by Mitigating the Impact of Grid Congestion

Collaboration with Enel
Challenge under evaluation

Challenge overview

ABSTRACT

Enel Green Power is looking for ideas and solutions to address the problem of energy congestion, which is being experienced in several regions. The proposals must provide an innovative approach to the problem, guaranteeing opportunities for sustainable use of the energy generated and for economic savings.

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver is invited to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by Enel Grids with the goal of establishing a collaborative partnership. 

 

- Login or register to start solving this Challenge! After logging in, click ‘View Challenge Details’ to submit your solution on the Enel Open Innovability® platform -

 

OVERVIEW

Enel Green Power is a global leader in the development and management of energy production from renewable sources (wind, solar, hydroelectric, marine and geothermal).

Increased penetration of generation in certain areas without corresponding increase in load or transmission creates constrained areas. When more energy is generated within these constrained areas than can be consumed or removed, a congestion occurs. Due to energy pricing compositions set by transmission operators, the price of energy within a constrained zone can become negative during a congestion event.

Enel experiences numerous congestion events throughout the year, each of which highly impacts both revenues and the amount of energy dispatched. Reliable and sustainable methods or technologies for mitigating and addressing congestion will help Enel Green Power to continue to deliver clean, low-cost energy to thousands of households, industrial customers and all the consumers requiring electric energy.

 

THE CHALLENGE

The growth in renewable generation in the last years has not corresponded to an equal growth in transmission capacity. The energy produced by thousands of wind towers and solar panels needs to be moved from generation to consumption sites, often hundreds of miles away. Electrons move across power lines similar to cars moving down a road. In both cases, congestion occurs when too many converge on the same path. Traffic jams are frustrating, but electricity congestion can be costly and may even cause power outages. Therefore, mitigating the impact of congestions on the grid is important for operators and end users alike: financially, sustainably, and across energy delivery.

Grid congestion occurs due to transmission constraints – a lack of transmission line capacity to deliver electricity without exceeding the thermal, voltage, and stability limits designed to ensure reliability. These constraints can also lead to inefficiencies. For example, as transmission lines reach thermal capacity, line loss – the dissipation of electricity along a wire – increases.

Generation and load nodes are distributed across large portions of land. When a generation node is on the “wrong side” of a congestion, it is said to be in an Export Constrained Area. When a congestion event occurs, generators inside the export constrained area can see the price of the energy they produce turning into negative value, thus the generators are paying for dispatching energy.

In order to maintain equilibrium in the supply and demand of energy, the transmission operator decreases the Locational Marginal Price (LMP) of nodes inside the export constrained area and increases it outside the constrained area. Congestion is the primary driver of price separation: it is positive outside the constrained zone and negative inside the constrained zone. Some operators may then decide not to dispatch or generate energy to avoid paying the resulting high costs.

For instance, areas within Oklahoma and Kansas are highly affected by congestion. These states are part of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which serves 14 central states of the US and covers a region with high wind energy potential. The strong potential for generation within SPP has led to a substantial increase in the number of wind plants in the region. This has exposed Enel Green Power operations to congestion, particularly during winter and summer months when energy demand and generation is high. This impacts both the economic results of the company and its ability to dispatch clean and low-cost energy to its customers.


SOLUTION REQUIREMENTS & ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA

Enel Green Power is looking for ideas, solutions, and methods at greater than or equal to Technology Readiness Level 6 that can mitigate the impact of congestion. Every percentage reduction of congestion and loss results in a considerable amount of energy that can be dispatched and financial loss that can be avoided. Relevant solutions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Strategic load additions in constrained regions or integrated into the power plants, also in the form of modular, pre-assembled, easy to install, systems.
  • Line rating observation or adjustment advancements
  • Enhanced organization or planning
  • Note: energy storage can be a technical solution for congestion mitigation. However, since they are not typically profitable for this specific task, we will only evaluate business model proposals with a clear positive return.

 

Submissions should address the following Solution Requirements:

The proposed solution must:

  • be deployable within the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), ideally within western Oklahoma and Kansas,
  • be compliant with existing standards, both national and SPP,
  • not require sustained access to or direct control over grid or transmission management assets,
  • reduce overall impact of congestion visible to generation sites,
  • And have a TRL 6 or greater (demonstrated in a relevant environment).

 

The proposed solution should:

  • be deployable within 1-3 years,
  • mitigate congestion events lasting approximately 8 hours/day on average,
  • address key congestion events lasting up to 20 hours,
  • not rely on significant expansion of transmission capabilities,
  • be an environmentally sustainable activity or technology.

 

This Challenge contributes to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. 
  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

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This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with a goal of establishing a collaborative partnership. - Login or register to start solving this Challenge! After logging in, click ‘View Challenge Details’ to submit your solution on the Enel Open Innovability® platform -

 

For questions about the Challenge and your proposal you can contact EnelOpenInnovabilityChallenges@wazoku.com

Explain your proposal clearly in English, and attach documents (max 5 files, 25MB total size) if needed.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (Central European Time) on July 03, 2023.

 

ABOUT THE SEEKER             

Enel is a multinational energy company and one of the world’s leading integrated electricity and gas operators. Enel works in more than 30 countries across five continents, generating energy with a total installed capacity of more than 89 GW, selling gas and distributing electricity across a network spanning approximately 2.2 million km.

With almost 75 million end users around the world, Enel has the biggest customer base among our European competitors, and we are one of Europe’s leading energy companies by installed capacity.

The Enel Group is made up of approximately 66,000 people from around the world who are working together on the same goal. We are Open Power and our aim is to overcome some of the greatest challenges facing the world. This is to be achieved through a new approach which combines attention to sustainability with the best in innovation.

Enel is dedicated to creating innovative solutions that meet society’s changing needs. Through its openinnovability.com crowdsourcing platform, the company connects people and ideas from across the world, encouraging anyone to propose sustainable innovation projects and solutions that help develop local communities.

Enel is also committed to helping to achieve 4 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • 7 - Access to affordable and clean energy
  • 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • 11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • 13 - The fight against climate change

Enel Green Power (EGP) is the Enel Group company focused on the development and management of renewable energy generation. EGP is a world leader in the development and management of energy production from renewable sources with a global presence in 26 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania (active projects in 21 countries while projects under development in 5 countries). EGP operates more than 1,200 plants with a managed capacity of 56 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable energy power plants. EGP enables communities, companies and end users to move towards a sustainable life, guiding the transition towards a decarbonised society and contributing to the development and well-being of the many geographical areas in which it operates. EGP aims to accelerate the energy transition towards renewable sources, aiming to reach 75GW of installed renewable capacity in 2025 worldwide. In parallel, the abandonment of coal by 2027 and gas by 2040 is also foreseen.

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