Belgium tests wind for grid balancing task

Belgium's transmission system operator Elia is carrying out a pilot project to see if wind project can provide secondary reserves in order to help balance the grid.

The tests are being carried out at WindVision's Estinnes plant, equipped with 11 Enercon E-126 7.5MW turbines. Depending on the wind conditions, the project will provide up to 10MW of secondary reserves.

The project will consider to what extent and under what conditions it can participate in the secondary reserve market, by modifying the output according to signals sent by the system operator.

It will also investigate what changes are required in managing the secondary reserve to facilitate participation of wind in the market. Trials will run until the end of the year.

Most of the 140MW of secondary reserve in Belgium is provided by expensive gas-fired power stations. Elia believes using wind power should be a cheaper option. Similar trials are also being conducted in Germany and Spain.

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