The title is ‘output stability’… The Ministry of Industry shifts responsibility to related organisations

On the 27th, the Ministry of Industry announced a system stabilization plan for solar power concentration areas. Some in the industry point out that the government is leaving the responsibility for stabilizing systems to related organisations. (Photo courtesy of Yonhap News)

The government is going to stabilize the power system to expand renewable energy. Some in the power industry point out that the government is shifting responsibility to KEPCO and the Korea Power Exchange.

On the 27th, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held the 3rd meeting of the ‘TF Renewable Energy Power System’ chaired by Cheon Yeong-gil, head of the Energy Policy Office, which was attended by public companies, public organizations, and private experts.

At this meeting, the Ministry of Industry announced a system stabilization plan for the Gyeongbuhagi solar power facility concentration areas (Jeonbuk, Jeonnam, Gwangju, and Gyeongnam districts).

The core of the government’s system stabilization plan is to provide continuous operation performance to the installed solar power generation facility inverter. Despite the low frequency and low voltage caused by the failure of the power facility, it prevents the photovoltaic facility from being disconnected from the grid for a certain period of time, thereby giving the current facility inverter performance to prevent the cascading effects of grid instability.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has prepared this countermeasure to prevent people from discharging large-scale photovoltaic facilities in the event of system problems in areas where photovoltaic facilities are concentrated.

In this regard, the Ministry of Industry held an Electricity Committee meeting on the 19th and discussed an agenda for a system stabilization order targeting KEPCO and the Korea Power Exchange.

This measure is significant in terms of strengthening responsibility for the power system of renewable energy facilities, but some in the power industry criticize that the government is transferring responsibility to related organizations such as KEPCO and Korea Power Exchange.

KEPCO is already promoting an inverter improvement project targeting some solar energy areas such as Jeju. Hereby, KEPCO pays the budget for existing solar power facilities to improve the facilities.

However, in the case of existing projects, cooperation from photovoltaic operators is poor, explains an official in the electric power industry. This means that a few operators do not resist the improvements to the facility or even block access to the facilities.

Solar power operators point out that if inverters have continuous operation performance, KEPCO will be able to remotely control facility output.

Although I understand that solar energy operators must also cooperate in order to stabilize the system, it is difficult for solar energy operators to easily participate in improving facilities as there is no plan to compensate the operators when KEPCO performs output control is forceful in their position.

It is noted that the government defers responsibility to related organizations rather than preparing effective alternatives to system stability in order to avoid complaints from solar energy operators in a situation where cooperation from photovoltaic operators is poor.

Before issuing administrative orders to KEPCO and Korea Power Exchange, an institutional environment needs to be established first so that business operators can participate in system stabilization.

An official from the electric power industry said, “In fact, even if an action order is not issued through consideration by the Electricity Commission, KEPCO and the Korea Power Exchange are already responsible for stabilizing systems under the Electricity Business Act.” he pinned

However, regarding this point, Jeong Seung-hye, head of the power system innovation department at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, said, “The consideration of this action order was to improve the ability to implement measures such as implementing measures for stabilize the system and secure a workforce.” We hope you will understand this as our will to stabilize the system with a more proactive approach.”

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