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CEIC-12-05

The Cost of Curtailing Wind Turbines for Secondary Frequency Regulation Capacity
Stephen Rose and Jay Apt 

Abstract:
We analyze the cost of curtailing the active power output of a wind farm to provide secondary frequency regulation capacity. We calculate the regulation capacity available and its cost by simulating the active power output of a curtailed 100-MW wind farm with a hybrid of real speed data and simulated high-frequency turbulence. We find that a curtailed wind farm can provide secondary frequency regulation capacity at a cost lower than conventional generators in less than 1% of the 1440 1-hour periods studied. Although the operating cost of curtailing a wind farm for frequency regulation capacity is high, the capital cost of installing the hardware and software to enable curtailment for frequency regulation is low. For that reason, we suggest that it is reasonable that grid operators require wind farms to have the capability to curtail for frequency regulation, but we recommend that capability should be rarely used.

 

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