Advanced Control Solutions for Operating Isolated Power Systems: Examining the Portuguese islands

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Helena Vasconcelos
Carlos Moreira
André Guimarães Madureira
João Peças Lopes
Vladimiro Miranda
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The operation of remote and isolated or islanded power systems is often very challenging because of their small system inertia. Moreover, economic and environmental pressure has led to an increasing renewable power penetration, particularly in wind generation and solar photovoltaics (PV). Simultaneously, significant technological progress has been made in terms of control capability of grid assets [generators, controllable loads such as electric vehicles (EVs), and energy storage systems], mostly exploiting the capabilities of power ?electronics. In this context, several advanced control solutions can be implemented, supporting and improving the robustness of the operation in terms of fast frequency and voltage control responses. In this article, the Portuguese islands are taken as a case study. Within the Madeira archipelago (Porto Santo and Madeira islands), two approaches were envisioned. For Porto Santo Island, the main goal is the sizing of a flywheel energy storage system (FESS) to avoid frequency stability problems. For Madeira Island, the objective relies on the exploitation of hydro resources through the quantification of the technical benefits resulting from variable speed hydro pumping stations that are able to provide primary frequency regulation services in the pump operation mode. In addition, this article also addresses the benefits of introducing EVs in Flores Island in the Azores Archipelago. Finally, to support the development of innovative technological solutions for this type of power system, a laboratory setup based on scaled test systems was also set up and is described. A set of applications was specifically developed for such autonomous power systems. The laboratorial infrastructure allowed the testing of ?solutions and prototypes for hardware and software modules related to those applications. © 2013 IEEE.