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The role of embedded VSC-HVDC in the European power system: a study cases analysis and GridTech pan-European results

pubblicazioni - Memoria

The role of embedded VSC-HVDC in the European power system: a study cases analysis and GridTech pan-European results

Il presente articolo mira a contribuire allo studio del ruolo che corridoi in VSC-HVDC possono giocare nello sviluppo del futuro sistema di trasmissione in Europa, con particolare attenzione dedicata all’applicazione di interconnessioni VSC-HVDC inserite (“embedded”) nella rete magliata HVAC in Europa. Dopo una breve panoramica sulle tipologie degli sviluppi di applicazione HVDC nelle diverse regioni europee, il presente articolo riporta in primis alcuni risultati degli studi di rete eseguiti implementando opportuni modelli degli schemi VSC-HVDC, in modo da analizzare l’impatto dell’inserimento di infrastrutture in VSC-HVDC nel sistema in HVAC. A tal scopo, alcune porzioni della rete di trasmissione europea sono rappresentate in dettaglio in un orizzonte temporale di medio termine. Alcuni casi specifici di applicazione di VSC-HVDC nella rete europea (al 2020) sono analizzati nel paper, prima di indagare sull’impatto di corridoi VSC-HVDC (al 2030) nell’ambito dello studio sul sistema pan-europeo svolto nel progetto GridTech.

The electricity grids in Europe are on the critical path to meet the energy policy objectives set by the European Union (EU) for 2020, 2030 and beyond. Concerning the European transmission network, the challenge will be the integration of very large amounts of variable renewable energy sources (RES), especially wind and solar, into the power system, while keeping its reliability at acceptable levels, in a liberalized market framework. To this scope, a more flexible, yet robust, transmission grid is needed. On the other hand, fast ongoing technological developments may provide some effective solutions. Among these, one of the most promising option is represented by HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) transmission.

HVDC is a well-established technology and presents characteristics that have made it widely attractive over HVAC (High Voltage Alternating Current) for specific applications. Currently, recent advances in the power electronics, coupled to the traditional features of HVDC, may contribute to boost the penetration of HVDC for further applications in the European power system while improving the operation and sustaining the development of the European transmission grid. This is the case of VSC (Voltage Source Converter)-based HVDC offering the possibility to increase transmission network capacity and flexibility, optimize transmission assets exploitation and generally enhance system controllability.

Moreover, the deployment of VSC-HVDC can crucially allow a further, smoother integration of variable RES power plants into the European power system. The present paper aims at contributing in the investigation on the role that VSC-HVDC may play towards the development of the future transmission system in Europe. Particular attention is paid to the ongoing and expected evolutions related to the onshore application of VSC-HVDC links embedded in the European HVAC network.

After briefing on the ongoing and expected HVDC developments in several European regions, this paper reports some results of the network studies performed by implementing appropriate models for VSC-HVDC schemes, in order to analyze the impact of embedding VSC-HVDC assets in the HVAC system. To this purpose, some portions of the European network are represented in detail, in order to evaluate the effects of VSC-HVDC integration on a mid-term scenario horizon.

Some specific case studies of VSC-HVDC applications (at 2020) are analyzed in the paper, followed by the investigation of VSC-HVDC corridors impact (at 2030) within the pan-European system study of GridTech1 project.

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