Worldwide, the power system is changing profoundly. The integration of renewable energy sources is advancing rapidly, and while the environmental benefits of these sources are obvious, the intermittency and unpredictability of their power output pose challenges for grid frequency stability. This is enhanced by the fact that renewable sources do not always contribute to stability services and system inertia, and are replacing power plants that were contributing to those services. This also increases the vulnerability of the system during disturbances such as power plant trips. Frequency stability is therefore becoming a prominent issue in the power systems of the future.

Wärtsilä has built up a portfolio of combustion engine based power plants. These types of plants distinguish themselves for their fast start-up and ramping capabilities compared to conventional power plants. Therefore, they might be able to contribute to frequency stability in the power system, by offering primary and secondary reserve power faster than conventional power plants.

This report presents the results of a concept study performed to investigate the effects of integrating a high degree of Wärtsilä combustion engines in a representative future power system. The report shows when and how combustion engines can support the current and future power system (including a high degree of renewable generation sources) to mitigate some of the challenges posed by higher amounts of renewable electricity generation.

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  Niklas Wägar

   Director Technology & Solutions
   Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
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