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2003-04 Seminars


The Operation of Distributed Generation in the Restructured Power Industry

Judith Cardell
Smith College

Abstract
Small-scale distributed generating technologies are gradually replacing conventional generating technologies for some applications in the electric power system. The prospect of independent ownership for these distributed technologies is being encouraged by the current deregulation of the industry, and it is likely that these new generators will be independently operated as well as independently owned. This presentation investigates locating numerous small-scale generators in distribution feeders and the possible impact of these facilities on the stability of the distribution system. Simulations demonstrate, unexpectedly, that a small load disturbance is capable of causing frequency instability in the primary dynamics of the distributed generators. Eigenanalysis of the instability suggests that it is a system, rather than individual facility, phenomenon. A method to regain system stability along with an example of implementing this method is presented.

With respect to the emerging competitive markets, there is interest in developing both the technologies and market structure necessary to allow distributed generators to participate in energy and ancillary service markets. This presentation introduces the use of a closed loop price signal designed to coordinate generator actions in the competitive market while also maintaining the desired level of system reliability and stability. Price signals are one mechanism available to coordinate the operation of the power system in the emerging competitive market. Results presented will demonstrate the role of price in coordinating both the engineering and the economic aspects of distributed generator operation in a restructured power system. This paper demonstrates the ability of the distributed generators to participate in a future competitive energy market via a price signal coordinating system operation.