Forum Topics

Ancillary Services: System Operation and Spot Market Design

Short-term grid operations require real-time balancing of generation and load, or electricity supply and demand. The grid also requires certain “ancillary services” to ensure stable and reliable operations. Some of these services are used on a daily basis, such as inertia and frequency regulation, while others are dispatched under specific circumstances such as unexpected generator outages. Some are procured through markets, and others through standards and regulation.

The graphic below from the U.S. Department of Energy shows which grid services are generally procured through markets, and the speed of response required.

System reliability depends on managing multiple event speeds (DOE Quadrennial Energy Review, Second Installment, 2017)

The shift from dispatchable, synchronous steam and combustion generation to variable, inverter-based renewable energy resources is precipitating a reassessment of the definitions and procurement of grid services.

The featured publications and the accompanying slide decks explain the growing need for essential reliability services and various approaches for procuring them for reliable operations.

Relevant Publications

Secrets of Successful Integration: Operating Experience With High Levels of Variable, Inverter-Based Generation 

Debra Lew, Drake Bartlett, Andrew Groom, Peter Jorgensen, Jon O’Sullivan, Ryan Quint, Bruce Rew, Brad Rockwell, Sandip Sharma, and Derek Stenclik, IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, November 2019 

Ancillary Services in the United States: Technical Requirements, Market Designs and Price Trends 

Erik Ela, Robin Broder Hytowitz, Udi Helman, EPRI Technical Update, June 2019. 

The evolution of ancillary services to facilitate integration of variable renewable and distributed energy resources: A survey of some changes to the ancillary services and ancillary services markets

Erik Ela, Aidan Tuohy, EPRI Technical Update, December 2016. 

Power Market Structure & Design

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