GE and Stedin, a distribution network operator (DNOs) in the Netherlands, went live this week with the first European implementation of Transmission Forecast (T-Forecast) software from GE’s Grid Solutions. Part of the Digital Energy portfolio, this new solution forecasts power flow across transmission and distribution and is built to help manage increasing levels of renewable energy generation.
Electrical grids were constructed to manage a uniform flow of electricity primarily powered by coal, petroleum and natural gas. The growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) – such as renewable wind and solar energy which ebb and flow based on weather patterns – coupled with the onset of microgrids and storage alternatives, have increased the variability and complexity in energy flow. Renewable energy’s variability creates new stresses on the grid, including overload and congestion.
Based on GE’s DER Orchestration solution, the T-Forecast software enhances electric power flow look-ahead visibility at the point of interconnection. This allows both Stedin and the transmission system operator (TSO) in the Netherlands to better manage the variability and intermittency of renewable energy generation. The T-Forecast software leverages the TSO’s Balance Responsible Parties declarations and machine learning technologies to compute a reliable forecast of the power flow at 39 primary substations. This supports Stedin’s compliance with regulations associated the EU’s “third energy package" (directive 2009/72/EC and regulation (EC) 714/2009), in particular the codes related to forecasting load flows in the electrical grid.
Stedin is also focused on flexible deployment initiatives – enabling flexible generation and consumption – as an alternative to grid reinforcements. With GE’s T-Forecast solution, Stedin is able to predict where flexible deployment is necessary, thereby lowering the risk of an unbalanced grid or local overload, even when levels of decentralized generation are high and ensuring a stable electricity supply.
T-Forecast is architected as a flexible and open modular solution, based on microservices, meaning it can be easily updated and inserted into any business process with other services, through orchestration, to support multiple use cases. This modularity also enables it to be “pluggable” onto any SCADA from any provider. With its intuitive user experience, T-Forecast delivers actionable insights for managing the interconnections between the Netherland’s transmission and distribution grids, which helps to prevent disturbances and interruptions.
In 2016, nearly 90% of new power added to the electric grid was made up of renewable sources in Europe. With two of Europe’s three largest new windfarm projects and strong solar power growth, the Netherlands is playing a key role in driving Europe’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels. The country is also experiencing an increase in electric vehicle (EV) adoption in alignment with the Dutch government’s long-term energy plan which mandates a phase out of all internal combustion engines by 2035.