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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Including operational aspects in the planning of power systems with large amounts of variable generation: A review of modeling approaches

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In the past, power system planning was based on meeting the load duration curve at minimum cost. The increasing share of variable generation (VG) makes operational constraints more important in the planning problem, and there is more and more interest in considering aspects such as sufficient ramping capability, sufficient reserve procurement, power system stability, storage behavior, and the integration of other energy sectors often through demand response assets. In VG integration studies, several methods have been applied to combine the planning and operational timescales. We present a four‐level categorization for the modeling methods, in order of increasing complexity: (1a) investment model only, (1b) operational model only, (2) unidirectionally soft‐linked investment and operational models, (3a) bidirectionally soft‐linked investment and operational models, (3b) operational model with an investment update algorithm, and (4) co‐optimization of investments and operation. The review shows that using a low temporal resolution or only few representative days will not suffice in order to determine the optimal generation portfolio. In addition, considering operational effects proves to be important in order to get a more optimal generation portfolio and more realistic estimations of system costs. However, operational details appear to be less significant than the temporal representation. Furthermore, the benefits and impacts of more advanced modeling techniques on the resulting generation capacity mix significantly depend on the system properties. Thus, the choice of the model should depend on the purpose of the study as well as on system characteristics. This article is categorized under: Wind Power > Systems and Infrastructure Energy Systems Analysis > Economics and Policy Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy
Paper structure
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Connections between modeling approaches and methods to tackle modeling challenges. The thicker the connection, the higher the percentage of studies that utilized the tackling method in the respective modeling approach category
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Running operational models iteratively
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Examples of links between different energy system model types
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Classification of modeling approaches
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An example of the representation of thermal unit operating stages
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Four approaches to represent temporal variations over a year. (a) Screening curve method where chronological time series are converted to load duration curve or net load duration curve. (b) An example of the time slice approach with four seasonal, two weekday–weekend and two day–night time slices (altogether 16 time slices). (c) An example of the representative period approach with four selected weeks (shown inside black rectangles). (d) Full chronological time series. (Scaled load and wind power data from Finland 2011)
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