Big couple of months for OGW colleagues involved with CIGRE

It has been a big couple of months for OGW colleagues that are involved with CIGRE[1].

OGW Chairman Lance Hoch’s paper on DER integration was accepted for the CIGRE 2020 Session in Paris, which is the largest gathering of utility people in Europe with around 3,500 delegates and a massive trade show.  Lance’s paper covers the recent work by Oakley Greenwood on the economic integration of DER into the grid and markets, which was part funded by ARENA.

Executive Director Greg Thorpe travelled to Montreal to attend the CIGRE Study Committee meeting on Markets and Regulation, attend a range of working group meetings (including Market price formation, Use of Blockchain, local electricity markets, markets with short term flexibility etc) and attend the CIGRE Canada conference.

The conference covered the full gamut of electricity topics but was focused this year on the CIGRE theme of “End to End”.  The premise of the theme is that the electricity system is returning to its roots with both supply side and demand side participants that share their energy across an interconnected system.

The CEO of Hydro Quebec opened the conference on this theme offering their vast Hydro resources to support the intermittent supplies in northern USA.  He noted that their supplies could meet the demand of New York for some days and would effectively firm wind and solar resources.  The similarities to the Snowy and Hydro Tas projects was not lost on the Australian participants at the conference (see photo).

The chairman also noted that the transportation systems needed to electrify so they could reduce emissions and take advantage of the low marginal cost electricity from renewable resources (and Hydro Quebec) – pointing to applied research work by Hydro Quebec into battery storage and EV motors that was already bearing fruit.

Principal Consultant Alex Cruickshank also travelled to Montreal for the Study Committee meeting and the CIGRE Canada Conference.  Alex chaired the Market and Regulation session at the conference, which covered a number of DER issues; connection, integration into energy and ancillary services markets as well as measurement of demand response.  The papers demonstrated that these issues were being faced in countries and markets in Europe, India, Japan and North America with solutions that can be adapted to Australia.

Alex also travelled to Bangkok as a guest of the Thailand National Committee of CIGRE to present at their seminar on “Power Markets vs Digital Platforms approach in Thailand”.  Alex gave a global overview of Demand Response markets based on the CIGRE report and tutorial of the same name and OGW work on DER integration mentioned above.  Alex also participated in a panel discussion on the topic of the conference, with key points being that Thailand is poised to integrate DER into its market (three major trials are underway), there are opportunities to Thailand to adopt the best practices from overseas and the industry in Thailand is united in the approach to optimise the Thai system.

[1] CIGRE is acronym for the International Council for Large Electrical Systems.  CIGRE is a large membership organisation for the development of the electricity system – see www.cigre.org or www.cigreaustralia.org.au.  OGW staff are associated with Study Committee C5, which deals with electricity markets and regulation.

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