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CEA bats for modern forecasting tools for renewable energy

According to reports, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has made a strong case that state-of-the-art forecasting tools be provided in the renewable energy (RE) rich states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan to improve the forecast quality for maintaining the load generation balance.

CEA has also suggested that technical and regulatory measures be enhanced for the flexibility of conventional generation to increase the balancing capacity of the grid.

 It is necessary that healthiness of grid protection schemes through regular monitoring and updating is ensured. The trigger is capacity addition o 32,000 MW proposed through RE  while around 88,537 MW from conventional generation during 12th plan.
The respective buyer state of RE power will be responsible for maintaining its load-generation balance taking into account the revised forecasts of their RE portfolios. In order to save time in revision of schedules, the state, regional and national load dispatch centres will suo-motu revise the RE schedule.
CEA has called for the establishment of Renewable Energy Management centers (REMC) equipped with advanced forecasting tools, smart dispatching solutions, real time monitoring of RE generation and emphasized the need for close coordination of REMC with state and regional load dispatch centres.
Further, wind farms may also be set up through competitive bidding in order to reduce tariff.
These recommendations have been made by CEA in its latest report titled ”Large scale grid integration of renewable energy sources in the country.”
According to CEA, a number of “Green Corridors “ have recently been planned to take care of the expansion of wind , solar and small hydro in the states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. The transmission system costing about Rs 32,000 crores have been planned to cater to the needs of proposed 32,000 MW.
The total All India Installed Capacity (IC) as on August 31, 2013 is 2,27,357 MW which includes 28,184 MW from Renewable Energy Sources (RES), constituting 12.4% of the total capacity. During 2012-13, the generation from RES sources was around 47 Billion Units (BUs), which was about 5% of the total all India generation of 959 BUs.
CEA has observed that the induction of RE sources does not reduce the requirement of conventional sources of generation which are required to provide backup when the RE power is not available. Further the introduction of variable RE resources puts pressure on grid  security. According to CEA, forecasts are quite crucial to deal with variability of renewable generation resource adequacy during operation and grid security.
At the same time, CEA has suggested that regulatory support is required to incentivize flexibility of conventional generation sources. The regulations should compensate the conventional generator for partial operation and start up and stop costs so that it can perform the balancing function without incurring financial loss.

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