Basic Concepts of Electric Power System Planning: Contracting for Reliability and Cost Effectiveness

Basic Concepts of Electric Power System Planning: Contracting for Reliability and Cost Effectiveness

Abdullah Alshaalan (King Saud University, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4501-0.ch016
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Power systems' planning, particularly in developing countries, faces enormous challenges and problems such as defining the future load growth in the face of uncertainties. Renewable energies are coming to the arena and affecting the planning of power and energy systems. The relation between power generation, transmission, and distribution entities, as well as the need for consolidating the dispersed electric utilities in the isolated regions is a prerequisite for future planning. Plenty of technologies, systems, and contractors are coming off the road while an optimal reliability levels need to be achieved. This chapter attempts to display the most tedious and prominent problems and challenges that face innovating the electric power systems which must be based on two major factors, namely reliability and cost. This chapter will help in drafting a new contracting style that mitigate obstacles that face power systems planners and concerned agencies while planning and operating electric power facilities.
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Electric Power plays a major role in human life and is considered one of the important means to achieve progress and prosperity in all areas of life (Nicholas, 2009), not surprisingly, that electricity rates are taken to use as one of growth, progress and development of the countries of standards (Wolde-Rufael, 2006).

Planning for power systems is essentially a projection of how the system should grow over a specific period (Masters, 2013), given certain assumptions and judgment about the future loads and the size of investment in generating capacity additions and transmission facilities expansion and reinforcements.

Any plan can become technically and economically obsolete (Schein, 1996). New inventions in electrical utilization equipment or unforeseen industrial, commercial, or residential projects can change load forecast (Schramm, 2006). Breakthroughs in new generation and transmission technologies, unexpected inflation in equipment or labor costs or change of national income can all mean that system plans may take another direction (Stoll, 2007).

In developing countries, power system planning has become more difficult, but more important to provide the necessary information to enable decision to be made today about many years in the future (Wang, Billinton, & Goel, 2002). In almost all cases, planning must be done in the face of many uncertainties, for example: future load patterns, population increase and the economic growth which characterize the developing countries, as well as technical, economic, and environmental constraints (Nakicenovic, Grubler, & McDonald, 1998).

It is also crucial to understand the different ways to prepare the forecast demand for energy and electrical loads due to the daily load curve variations and the methods used to predict in this curve (Jota & Silva, 2011). It is also important to determine appropriate types of power plants and the preparation of the economic drivers of those stations (Lopes, Hatziargyriou, Mutale, & Jenkins, 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Renewable Energy: The energy that can be generated from renewable resources such as Wind and waterfalls. It can affect the procurement, development, operation, and maintenance of the distribution grid.

Transmission: Networks to interconnect these systems and transfer power between their load centers in case of emergencies and power shortages.

Power System: An electric power system consists of a set of components interconnected with each other in some purposeful and meaningful manner.

Outage: The expected average number of days per year during which the system is being on outages, i.e. load exceeds the available generating capacity.

Reliability: The object of a reliability evaluation is to derive suitable measures, criteria and indices of reliable and dependable performance based on components outage data and configuration.

Distributed Renewable Energy Resources (DRESs): New power generation systems that are increasingly connected within the transmission and distribution systems, causing the gradual decommissioning of the conventional synchronous generators.

Forecasting of Demand: An accurate preparation of the power and energy demands that will help in designing the required infrastructure for the future expectations.

Distribution: The distribution grid is responsible for the electrification of the loads connected to the medium and low voltage.

Generation: The process of generating power based on statistical analysis, and reliability indices to ensure continuous energy supply.

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