Grid code to harmonise interconnection standards

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The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is proposing a grid code designed to harmonise wind power interconnection standards in power markets across the country. The association hired Garrad Hassan to develop a grid code for large-scale wind farms. In recent years, says CanWEA, it has become apparent that Canadian provinces and territories "were operating largely in isolation along their own timeframes" to develop interconnection standards for wind projects. At least three provinces have already developed specific interconnection requirements for wind and others are likely to follow quite quickly, says Garrad Hassan's Nigel Scott, who led development of the proposed code. "This means we're going to end up with 13 different sets of rules and requirements, which is not a good situation. It makes life for [wind turbine] manufacturers difficult and makes life for developers very difficult as well." CanWEA's "base code" incorporates existing standards developed by Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). It includes mandatory requirements for frequency and voltage tolerance, data provision and operational monitoring and allows variability in standards for reactive power capability, voltage control and low-voltage ride-through to accommodate provincial and site-specific differences. It also includes requirements for power control, frequency response and power system stabilisers that can be implemented when needed. The challenge now is to find a way to get the code adopted. The provinces control their own electric systems, which tend to have stronger ties with US markets than with each other. As a result there is no national regulatory body through which national standards can be set. CanWEA plans to consult with utilities and system operators, as well as work with AWEA to have the code adopted by the North American Electricity Reliability Council (NERC).

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