Leading renewable energy consultancy group, Natural Power, has further developed services within its industry leading independent wind farm control room WindCentreTM to become qualified under the British Electricity Trading and Transmission Arrangements (BETTA) to act as a Control Point and Trading Agent, a service which will be provided for wind farms to meet their Grid Code obligations and to participate in the Balancing Mechanism (BM). WindCentre already performs central control, monitoring, recording and communication services on 52 wind farm sites for multiple wind farm owners in the UK and Ireland, providing this service 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

This registration allows WindCentre to fulfil the Grid Code obligations of any wind farm, including 24/7 response to emergency events as required under the Grid Code. WindCentre can now act as a single point of interface with National Grid on behalf of multiple sites and owners. The service will initially be performed for the Crystal Rig II, Dalswinton and Minsca wind farms.

The process involves WindCentre nominating forecast production and generator availability to National Grid, as well as responding to requests on a 24 hour basis from the GB National Grid control centre to change site generation levels and respond to emergency events on the network. This service is being provided using a combination of WindCentre, ForesiteTM(wind farm production forecasting) and specialist software interfacing with National Grid installed in the control room, giving an accurate prediction of wind energy output, with a horizon of up to 15 days, based on weather forecasts and maintenance schedules.

Commenting on the successful development of this capability, Scott MacKenzie, Asset Management Director at Natural Power said: “This is an exciting development which brings together a range of expertise across Natural Power to support WindCentre in performing the role of trading agent within the GB electricity market. The success of wind energy in increasing its share of generation on to the transmission network, particularly in Scotland, has inevitably led to more frequent instructions to wind farms, to ensure National Grid can effectively operate the transmission system. Natural Power are pleased to be able to support the industry in offering this important service to help it meet these requirements 24/7, demonstrating that wind energy can be forecast accurately and managed effectively.”

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