Tutorial on Ancillary Services

Their Role in Systems with High Shares of Variable Renewable Energy (VRE)

The aim of this tutorial is to provide the participants with the necessary technical and regulatory understanding on the following two aspects:

  • Ancillary Services in Systems with High VRE Shares:
    How traditional services may have to be reshaped to guarantee a safe, secure and reliable operation of a changing power system. Introduction to innovative ancillary services such as ramping reserve or fast frequency response.
  • VRE Participation in the Provision of Ancillary Services:
    Technology and infrastructure needs to enable VRE participation in ancillary services.

Examples on international best practices on the above mentioned topics will also be provided within the tutorial. Find a more detailed description here.

Upcoming dates

  • Tuesday, 16 March 2021
    9:00 – 11:30
    (04:00 am New York // 05:00 Rio de Janeiro // 08:00 London // 13:30 New Delhi // 16:00 Peking // 17:00 Tokio)

  • Thursday, 18 March 2021
    16:00 – 18:30
    (11:00 am New York // 12:00 Rio de Janeiro // 15:00 London // 20:30 New Delhi // 23:00 Peking // 00:00 Tokio)


Ancillary services are those services provided by generation, transmission and control equipment which are necessary to support the transmission of electric power from producer to purchaser ensuring a safe, secure and reliable operation of the power system. Ancillary services include services intended to ensure frequency stability by balancing short term deviations between load and generation, such as reserves, services that provide control of the voltage, such as reactive power, and emergency services such as black start capability.

Ancillary services are gaining importance in the context of uptaking variable renewable energy sources (VRE) as tools towards achieving a successful transition from conventional based generation systems to VRE dominated systems. These services themselves are also undergoing a transformation and are being reviewed and updated by system operators in order to continue serving the needs of the power systems where the inherent characteristics of VRE such as their variability and uncertainty, their locational nature or their lack of inertial response are becoming more present in their operation.

Detailed Description

Find below a detailed description of the issues touched in these tutorials:

Session 1: Ancillary Services in Systems with High VRE Shares

The first 60 minutes block will introduce how ancillary services must be reshaped to guarantee a safe, secure and reliable electric supply in the power systems with high VRE penetration. The presentation will include example of best international practices addressing, at least, the cases of Ireland, California and Germany. Click on the content button for a detailed list of topics.

  • Introduction to Ancillary Services
  • Frequency Control:
    • Traditional services:
      • Purpose, activation and dimensioning of reserves;
      • Service providers;
      • Reserve procurement frameworks;
    • Impact of rising VRE shares on frequency control:
      • Reduced inertia and higher RoCoF;
      • More frequent activation;
      • Scarcity of traditional service providers: Which technologies can replace conventional generation in the provision of ancillary services?
    • Innovative services and new market mechanism in the context of VRE: Real time markets and their impact on ancillary services, inertia products, fast frequency response, synthetic inertia and ramping reserves.
  • Voltage control:
    • Capabilities of conventional and VRE generators;
    • Control schemes;
    • Cost and procurement;
    • Impact of VRE on reactive power demand and voltage control schemes.
  • Black start:
    • Basics of black start plans and analysis of example cases;
    • The role of black starting and houseload units;
    • Changes in black start plans incurred by high shares of VRE.
Session 2: VRE Participation in the Provision of Ancillary Services

Based on the understanding of the issues developed in Session 1, in the second thematic block the participants will be introduced to the technical and regulatory aspects on how VRE and converter-based technologies in general can participate in the provision of ancillary services. Click on the content button for a detailed list of topics.

  • VRE participation in balancing and frequency control:
    • Inverter capabilities and infrastructure needed;
    • Fast frequency response;
    • Upward reserve provision: Delta control;
    • Ancillary service market issues.
  • VRE participation in voltage control:
    • Reactive power capability of inverters;
    • Reactive power control modes;
  • Participation of distributed generation in ancillary services:
    • Smart Inverters: IEEE 1458;
    • Role of Aggregators;
    • Virtual power plants;
    • Black start support with cellular approach.
  • Grid Forming Inverters:
    • Are they really needed?
    • Is the technology ready?
    • How can grid forming inverters improve ancillary service provision?

Tutorial Lecturers

Form of presentation and schedule

The Tutorial will be held as virtual tutorial online and will have a total duration of 2 hours. The contents will be presented in two thematic blocks each with a duration of 60 minutes. Between the blocks there will be a break of 10 minutes and after each block there will be at least 10 minutes for questions. The presentation will contain several sections to address individual questions in a timely manner.

Additional Information

  • To register please use the registration form below
  • As the number of participants for the tutorial is limited, tickets are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • The min. number of participants is 8.
  • Details of the Online Service-Packages
  • For further information or registration please contact us per email


Tutorial fees have to be invoiced with the value-added tax of the country, in which the service is provided (here: Germany).

Participation fees:

Deadline Price (net) 19% VAT Price (gross)
Early Bird 16 Feb 2021 135.00 € 25.65 € 160.65 €
Late Registration after 16 Feb 2021 150.00 € 28.50 € 178.50 €
Students 120.00 € 22.80 € 142.80 €


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