scotia wrote:I'm a glutton for punishment, and have been reading through the report again, trying to work out whether or not National Grid (ESO) had sufficient spare capacity to meet the System Security and Quality of Supply Standard (SQSS). In Section 3.1 of the Ofgem report we have:-
The ESO does not consider it is required to secure against distributed generation losses under the SQSS. However, for some faults and in some instances the ESO does secure against distributed generation losses. We will continue to review the ESO’s current application of the SQSS, and if we identify instances in which the ESO has failed to meet its requirements, we will take the necessary action.
The report made it clear that there was sufficient reserve (1000MW) to handle the losses from Hornsea and Barford, but it was the additional 500MW distributed generation losses (due to over-sensitive protection circuitry) which was the straw that broke the camel's back. So (in my opinion) the potential distributed generation losses need to be included - which of course means more reserve capacity, and higher costs. But the following sections of the report seem simply to obfuscate on this issue:-We will continue to review the ESO’s current application of the SQSS security requirements to ensure the ESO’s judgements in securing the system appropriately balance the costs and risks to consumers. This review will be carried out alongside a review of the requirements themselves
So was the ESO's judgement correct in this instance? Or should they have operated with a higher margin of reserve generation - and higher costs?
Its interesting that Ofgem does not directly dispute ESO's interpretation of SQSS in this case. I'm not sure who is responsible for the SQSS, although Ofgem seems to issue modifications to it - so could there be some blame attached to Ofgem for not having mandated the inclusion of distributed generation losses when estimating the appropriate level of generation reserve?
Of course there is a healthy portion of blame to be allocated to Ofgem in this respect, and by extension to their masters at DEC (or whatever dBIZ is called today). All of us have worked in this industry have been rattling Ofgem and DECs cage on all manner of related issues to do with DG and renewables for two decades and getting a pretty good ignoring. But in respect of report writing and blame allocation turkeys don't often vote for Christmas.