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The way in which grid code requirements in Europe have developed has resulted in gross inefficiencies and additional costs for consumers, manufacturers and wind farm developers. With the increasing penetration of wind energy, there is an increasing need to develop a harmonised set of grid code requirements. Harmonised technical requirements will maximise efficiency for all parties, and should be employed wherever possible and appropriate. However, it is not practical to completely harmonise technical requirements immediately, since this could lead to the unnecessary implementation of the most stringent requirements from each Member State, which would not be efficient or economically sound.
EWEA has established a Grid Code Working Group among its members. The group consists of wind turbine manufacturers, wind farm operators, service providers, certification bodies and engineering companies. There is a consensus in the industry that there is an urgent need to carry out a harmonisation exercise, as wind penetration is forecast to increase significantly in the short to medium term. The Working Group is working on a two step approach:
- A structural harmonisation exercise, with the aim of establishing a grid code template with common definitions, parameters, units and figures, as well as a common structure; and
- A technical harmonisation exercise, with the aim of adapting existing grid code parameters to the new grid code template.
This harmonisation strategy will be of particular benefit to:
- Manufacturers, who will be required to develop only common hardware and software platforms;
- Developers, who will benefit from reduced costs; and
- System operators, especially those who have yet to develop their own grid code requirements for wind power plants.
The technical basis for the requirements will be further developed by TSOs and the wind power industry.
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