In today’s energy world, a lot of research and development has been invested in finding optimal ways and means to harness naturally available energy, whereas the equally important issue of optimization of the grid systems for various load patterns, (that is baseload, intermediate load and peaking load) remains to be studied in depth.

In this paper we will use three different examples to explain how baseload is indeed required but robust, flexible power plants are equally important and a necessary part of a resilient grid system. ‘Smart Power Generation’, a concept introduced by Wärtsilä, is the first major step in this direction.

Our three examples will be CAISO (Californian Independent System Operator), from California, USA; NEPCO (National Electric Power Company), based in Amman, Jordan; and ADWEA (Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Authority), headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Our analysis sets a strong foundation, reinforcing the idea that serious consideration is mandatory before any tender is floated for flexible power for the optimization of the grid system. Said analysis, with its underlined results, reveals that future power that needs to be added into the power system can be anything but Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT).

The utilities in ME are already overburdened with CCGT power plants. Adding further CCGTs would be putting the already inflexible grid system under pressure to take up flexible load. The decisive fact is that CCGTs are not designed to take up the role of a flexible power provider. As a basic rule, the technology that needs to be added in the grid system must qualify not only in terms of technical and environmental regulation but also economic grounds.

A digression of view may be accepted here, away from the traditional CCGT addition in the grid system, by letting the technology be ‘open’ (i.e. not expressing any technological preferences, provided all other requisites are met) for competing bids in new tender processes for flexible power plants. This will, after all, benefit the utilities allowing the choice of optimal technology, resulting in better economic terms.

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Jukka-Pekka Niemi - Contact

  Jukka-Pekka Niemi

   Marketing Manager, Digital
   Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
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