Automatic Generation Control (AGC)

The Government of India’s plan for integration of large quantum of VRE into the power grid presents a number of challenges for power system operators and electricity market participants. Allied with faster scheduling and despatch is the need for harnessing flexibility from all available sources in the grid. The CERC has outlined a roadmap for adoption of Automatic Generation Control (AGC) in the country to enable secondary control necessary for ancillary services. One of the pilots implemented under USAID’s Greening the Grid (GTG)-RISE Initiative is intended to support adoption of AGC for hydro, solar and wind power plants in the southern region.

The GTG-RISE Initiative, in collaboration with Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL), is implementing this pilot to enhance the ancillary reserves in Karnataka. The GTG-RISE pilot will assess AGC’s ability to provide a secondary response in southern India. The
pilot will cover both hydel and renewable power plants and identify technical requirements and compensation mechanisms for those generation units that participate in the AGC secondary reserve market. The key activities under this pilot are enhancement of existing control facilities at two hydro units at Varahi and Sharavathi, one solar power plant at Shivanasamudra and NP-Kunta each, and one wind farm in Karnataka. The pilot will demonstrate the techno-economic benefits of AGC and aid in the development of a scalable roadmap for the policy makers and regulators for adoption of AGC. It will provide the data to help CERC specify regulations for AGC’s phased implementation with accompanying compensation mechanisms.

POSOCO in discussions with GTG-RISE proposed a pilot in the Southern Region encompassing hydro generator(s), a solar power plant and a wind power plant. This was accepted and GTG-RISE initiated the discussions with state-owned utilities in Karnataka to explore their willingness to be part of this pilot. A capacity-building workshop was conducted by GTG-RISE in association with POSOCO on August 3, 2017 at Bengaluru, Karnataka and attended by all relevant stakeholders including state-owned generation company KPCL and the state transmission utility KPTCL and high-level representatives of the SLDC – Karnataka. This workshop helped create a shared understanding of the objectives and need for the pilot and a consensus on implementing it in Karnataka. Following in-principle approval of KPCL and KPTCL, a joint team of GTG-RISE, KPTCL-SLDC and KPCL undertook field visits to Varahi and Sharavati Power Plants in October 2017 and 10 MW Solar Power Plant at Shivanasamudra in December 2017. Specific enhancements at these power plants as well as at the SLDC have been identified for enabling and testing AGC.

Following approval of KPCL and KPTCL, GTG-RISE has issued the Request for Applications (RFAs) for Varahi (Hydro), Sharavati Power Plants (Hydro) and Shivanasamudra (Solar) for pilots enabling and testing AGC. The applications have been received and are under evaluation for the award to commence the pilot implementation. In addition, based on suggestion from POSOCO, a 250 MW solar plant at NP Kunta (commissioned by NPTC) is being considered under of the AGC pilot.