Renewable Energy Developers Must Comply with Connectivity Rules or Face Action

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has directed renewable energy developers who have applied for connectivity until April 30, 2023 to comply with CEA Connectivity Regulations by September 30 or face disconnection.

Additionally, renewable energy developers who have applied for connectivity after April 30, 2023, should adhere to the requirements specified in the ‘Technical Standards for Connectivity to the Grid Regulations 2007,’ along with subsequent amendments.

The CEA directive comes in the wake of the connectivity regulations not being complied with.

There were 28 incidents involving the loss of over 1,000 MW of renewable energy in the grid since January 2022.

The CEA has categorized these grid events into three types: overvoltage during the switching operation, faults near the renewable energy complex, and low-frequency oscillations within the renewable energy complex.

An analysis of these incidents revealed that inadequate reactive support from variable renewable energy was one of the contributing factors, both in static and dynamic conditions.

According to the CEA Connectivity Regulations, it is necessary to have dynamically varying reactive power support during low voltage ride through (LVRT) and high voltage ride through (HVRT).

This is because fixed capacitor banks can only provide reactive support during steady-state conditions and deliver support in steps after a time delay. Therefore, the provision of dynamically varying reactive power support is crucial to ensure grid stability and security.

Compliance with the connectivity regulations,  the CEA said, is mandatory for all renewable energy developers at the connectivity level.

In February, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission issued new guidelines to supplement the Deviation Settlement Mechanism Regulations 2022 to maintain grid security. These regulations came into force last December after which wide frequency fluctuations in the grid had occurred. The regulator stipulated certain measures to contain frequency within the operating band.

Grid frequency swung wildly and dangerously on December 20 last year. A significant drop or rise in frequency could lead to a blackout.

The CEA had prepared a draft resource adequacy plan to maintain adequate generation capacity to meet future energy demands. The document said it had become imperative to plan for the increasing share of variable renewable energy in the total energy mix.

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