New FERC 827 ruling for wind farms ensures smooth grid connections

2016-12-01 - World Gen perspective article by Michelle Meyer, ABB - November/December 2016 issue
The electrical grid in the United States is heavily regulated to ensure reliabile and cost effective electricity for consumers. As the U.S. electrical grid continues to evolve by adopting new business models, integrating renewables, and incorporating smart grid technologies, maintaining system reliability takes significant coordination and oversite. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an independent regulatory body that oversees the transmission network with the main objective of promoting a safe, reliable, and efficient grid for the energy consumers. Through the establishment of FERC rulings, this entity is able to set operational standards and precedence for how the transmission network will operate.

In a landmark ruling issued on June 16, 2016, FERC Order No. 827 will now require all newly interconnected non-synchronous generators such as wind farms “to be able to provide reactive power at the high-side of the generator substation as a condition of interconnection”. Prior to this ruling wind farms and other nonsynchronous generators were exempt from providing any reactive power compensation, unless a need was identified

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