VECTO System adds FCAS Features

The VECTO Grid OS monitoring platform has taken a major step forward in supporting the latest and planned requirements for Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) measurement and verification by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The upgraded VECTO 3 edge computer accurately records high-resolution, real-time grid measurements that are GPS timestamped with 100 nanosecond accuracy, providing synchronised FCAS power and frequency reporting.

The VECTO Grid OS cloud-based platform now automates AEMO FCAS verification and reporting requirements. The platform offers a dedicated CSV output that can be easily inputted into AEMO’s FCAS verification tool (FCASVT).

The application automatically covers AEMO’s Very Fast, Fast, Slow, and Delayed FCAS requirements, while also providing users with graphical analysis of frequency events and their recovery. These enhancements provide a robust and efficient solution for monitoring and verifying FCAS performance in the Australian electricity grid. As the energy transition continues, the importance of reliable and effective FCAS services will only increase, and VECTO’s latest upgrades will play an essential role in meeting these challenges.

FCAS Campaign

A new Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) campaign was added to do analysis on a network’s frequency response.

  • This campaign will schedule automatic downloads of synchrophasor data for FCAS events across all measurement points selected for this campaign.
  • A digital input can be assigned to trigger a FCAS event.

Separate Wave Diagnostic FCAS Data

Wave storage can now be specified separately to cycle and block diagnostic data capture during events.


Fast Trends Campaign

A new campaign was added to allow capturing and downloading of 200ms parameters: V percentage of declared (1-3), IRMS (1-3), P (Total), Q (Total).

Please note: this campaign may only be enabled for the instruments for which access to the campaign were purchased.


What is FCAS?

Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) are a key part of keeping the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) stable. FCAS is a mechanism designed to maintain power system frequency within acceptable limits. FCAS providers offer services to the market operator, AEMO, to help keep the frequency of the electricity grid within a tight range around 50Hz, which is needed for a reliable power system. This is done by reacting in real time to changes in the grid frequency and making sure that supply and demand are always in balance.

The NEM connects five regional market jurisdictions: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.

FCAS ensures the stability and reliability of the power system by managing the balance between electricity supply and demand in real-time. It does this by providing ancillary services that help maintain frequency within the operational frequency range of 49.85 Hz to 50.15 Hz. The FCAS is divided into two main categories: Regulation and Contingency.

Regulation FCAS:

Regulation services involve continuously adjusting the generation or consumption of electricity in response to small fluctuations in system frequency. Participants in the regulation market submit offers to increase or decrease their output or consumption, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) selects the most cost-effective offers to maintain frequency. Regulation services are further divided into two types: Regulation Raise and Regulation Lower.

  • Regulation Raise: Increases generation or reduces consumption in response to a drop in frequency.
  • Regulation Lower: Decreases generation or increases consumption in response to a rise in frequency.

Contingency FCAS:

Contingency services are required when there’s a significant frequency deviation caused by a major event, such as the sudden loss of a generator or a transmission line. Contingency services are divided into four time-based categories: Fast, Slow, and Delayed. Each of these categories has Raise and Lower services.

  • Very Fast Raise/Lower: Activated within 1 second and sustained for at least 6 seconds.
  • Fast Raise/Lower: Activated within 6 seconds and sustained for at least 60 seconds.
  • Slow Raise/Lower: Activated within 60 seconds and sustained for at least 5 minutes.
  • Delayed Raise/Lower: Activated within 5 minutes and sustained for at least 30 minutes.

The AEMO constantly monitors the frequency of the power system and dispatches appropriate FCAS services to maintain system stability. Participants in the FCAS market, such as generators and energy consumers, are paid for the services they provide based on the offers they submitted and the prevailing market prices.

In simple terms, it is the job of FCAS providers to keep the electricity grid stable by offering services like fast frequency response, frequency regulation, and emergency services. These services are bought on a competitive market, where FCAS providers bid to provide the services that are needed to keep the grid stable.

You can’t say enough about how important FCAS is to the electricity grid. With the fast growth of renewable energy sources like wind and solar, there is more variation in how much electricity is being produced. This makes it harder to keep the grid stable. FCAS helps to keep the grid stable and reliable, preventing power outages and making sure that businesses and homes have access to the electricity they need.

Financial Incentives for providing FCAS Services

In addition to being very important for keeping the grid stable, FCAS providers can also make money by offering these services to the market. On the FCAS market, providers put in bids, and the ones with the lowest prices are chosen to provide the services. This means that FCAS providers have a financial reason to improve their efficiency and cut costs, which can lead to higher profits in the long run.

Also, as Australia’s renewable energy sources have grown, the demand for FCAS has gone up. This has given providers new chances to get into the market and grow their business.

Overall, FCAS is not only an important part of the electricity grid, but it can also be a source of income for providers who can do it well and efficiently.

FCAS Summary

In summary, the Australian FCAS is an essential part of the Australian National Electricity Market, ensuring that the frequency of the power system remains within acceptable limits and promoting stability, reliability, and security in the delivery of electricity to consumers.

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