Last updated on July 22nd, 2019
Green Coast’s ancillary services definition will help you understand how ancillary services are beneficial to the grid and include several examples of ancillary services.
What are ancillary services?
Ancillary services are the specialty services that help in supporting electric power transmission from the seller to the consumer. These services ensure that there is a proper and steady flow of electricity and also addresses the fluctuations that occur due to the forces of demand and supply.
Ancillary services provide solutions according to the needs of the electric power grid and ensure quick fix of the imbalances that may occur in the supply and connections of power.
Ancillary services include all the activities performed to ensure that there is a reliable and efficient flow of electricity from the point of generation to the point of end use.
In some systems which may have significant variable RE (renewable energy) penetration, there may be a need to add more ancillary services to handle the increased uncertainties and variations.
Ancillary Services Definition and Examples
Ancillary services include reserves used to meet power demand and imbalances. There are a number of different service components to understand and projects will typically qualify for a number (if not all) of these services to the grid. To better understand the definition of ancillary services, let’s look at some few examples.
Examples of Ancillary services can include the following:
Contingency reserves are services that deal with the unexpected or abrupt disruptions that may occur due to issues like a failure of some system components which includes aspects like generator failure, an outage in transmission lines or a circuit breaker among other elements.
Operating Reserves are power generators quickly dispatched to ensure that there is an efficient generation of energy to meet load. They include spinning reserves that help meet rapid changes in power demand by increasing their power output. Regional Transmission Operators (RTOs) need to procure a minimum quantity of non-spin operating reserves. Battery Storage, as a duration constrained but near-instantaneous asset, would earn a premium in the responsive reserve market and is not likely to play as a non-spin operating reserve asset.
Coordinated regulation (frequency regulation)
They are ancillary services that help respond and manage the short-term variations in the electrical grid, and that may affect the stability of the electricity transmission system. Frequency regulation helps the balance of the frequent on/off switches done by consumers of power.
In case of more prolonged than expected power loss which is beyond the contingent services, Flexibility reserves are used to regulate the flow of the electricity.
This function allows for the supply of electricity to restore the power system in the case of total loss of power in the entire electricity grid. Gas peakers are properly suited for black start.
Benefits of Ancillary Services to the Electrical Grid
Ancillary services are crucial to the successful operations of our electrical grid system. Without ancillary services, we would experience frequent blackouts and supply imbalances of power. These types of electrical services are paramount to working grid system.
Some of the benefits that come with the Ancillary services in electricity grid system includes;
- The services ensure that there is a steady and efficient flow of electrical power to consumers.
- In the case of any power interruptions, the Ancillary services make it possible for quick restoration and power fixes.
- It ensures there are fewer energy imbalances in the distribution of electricity in the grid.
- Quick responses minimize losses which may be caused by the long duration of power loss.
With the recent rise of intermittent renewable energy resources, ancillary service to the grid will be key in sustaining a reliable grid system. Energy storage will be a crucial component to these ancillary services.
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