Increased need for system services from renewables
in a sparsely populated country with inflexible conventional generation
Energynautics was commissioned by the World Bank in 2018 to assist the Mongolian National Dispatch Center with upgrading the grid code applicable to generators connected to the transmission system. The project included a thorough review of the current grid code, development of recommendations and stakeholder workshops conducted by Dr. Thomas Ackermann in Ulaanbaatar in 2019.
With most of the country consisting of a high altitude plateau with dry continental climate, Mongolia has excellent potential for both wind and PV generation, and the government has decided to utilize that potential. Grid integration is however challenging due to the country’s topology and power system structure. The country is sparsely populated, with long transmission lines supplying relatively small loads, leading to voltage control issues. Moreover, most of the generation fleet consists of old coal fired CHP units with very little flexibility. The system is hence reliant on interconnections to neighboring countries for balancing and frequency control.
All these issues result in more challenging technical requirements for wind and PV power plants as there is an increased need for system services from such units. Energynautics utilized international experience from high-renewable systems such as Ireland as well as contact to manufacturers and grid operators worldwide to draft comprehensive requirements for generators that are strict enough to fulfil the needs of the system, but can easily be met by modern generators and hence do not present a barrier to renewable development.