INTERNATIONAL POWER SYSTEM CONSULTANTS
Power system consulting
MPE’s national and international consulting activities include grid integration of renewable generation, connection of offshore wind farms, operational and planning support to system operators, transmission and distribution system owners, techno-economic studies, and site measurements and testing. Please see below for some examples of the types of services we can provide in this area. Even if you don’t see your required service, please say hello to see how we can help you with your project.
battery / storage sizing & site selection
The approach to sizing of storage of any type (battery, flow cell, CAES, pump hydro etc.), depends heavily on the objective of the system to be installed.
Whether it is for system wide reasons (e.g. frequency response, reserve, virtual synchronous machine functionality), or local reasons (e.g. constraint management, variable generation smoothing, voltage support, improvement of synchronous machine transient stability), we can produce the relevant technical and techno-economic studies for cost benefit analysis purposes.
We can also assess the best location in the power system where storage systems can be installed with the least cost, without network restrictions.
grid integration of renewable generation
MPE's headline activity is the utility scale grid integration of renewable generation.
As we transition to power systems with a dominance of non-synchronous converter based generation and HVDC interconnection, together with a net-shift of generation from transmission to distribution, we encounter new technical challenges for the stable and secure operation of the power system.
MPE can perform the full suite of studies (technical and techno-economic), grid expansion planning, and operational changes necessary to determine the steps which must be taken to ensure that power systems can continue to operate appropriately. We can develop requirements for new plant (grid code & connection conditions), and assess different cost options for determining the least cost options for the clean power systems of the future.
transmission & distribution grid expansion planning
Through our consultancy work, and with the experience of our engineers from their previous companies, we can perform or assist with all types of system planning activities including assessment of different options such as planning new assets, reinforcement of existing assets, or novel approaches to avoid traditional reinforcements options.
MPE can develop preliminary overhead line / cable routing, assist with substation site selection and complete all techno-economic studies for determining the best case options at transmission and distribution.
point of connection selection / optioneering
Determining the most cost effective, but technically compliant point of connection for a project can save substantial money for the project, and the power system end user.
Grid operators in Germany are obligated to assign the closest suitable point of connection at the correct voltage level, assuming there is no more favourable solution from a macroeconomic perspective. If the project developer is not content with the location, they may select another provided it is of a similar cost. Grid operators are therefore obligated to provide the required data to allow developers to make the assessment.
In Great Britain, the CION (Connection and Infrastructure Options Note) records a similar process between developers (for on and offshore projects), transmission owners, and National Grid (as the system operator).
MPE can support project developers and grid operators by conducting the necessary techno-economic grid studies to define the best solution considering technical suitability and macroeconomic cost in line with the country specific requirements.
Our experience shows that often a more favourable connection point can be found.
operational concept design
As power systems evolve with deployment of different technologies (e.g. renewable, storage, increased interconnection (DC or AC), active network management (ANM) or distributed energy resource management systems (DERMs) etc.), there is typically a need to review and update operational concepts to ensure a stable, secure, and efficient power system. MPE can assist in all aspects including:
Reserve assessment & optimization
Reactive power / voltage control concepts
Operational standard creation / review
Training and support
MPE has provided services such as this in a number of countries, including South Africa, Nigeria and El-Salvador.
operating reserve assessments / operational reserve tool (ORT)
MPE has extensive experience in calculating reserve requirements in Power Systems with high shares of variable renewable energy. That experience has been translated into a dedicated software tool which allows MPE and their clients to calculate reserve requirements for primary, secondary and tertiary reserve considering:
Forecast errors of demand and VRE generation
Variability/Ramping of demand and VRE generation
Reliability of conventional generation
The tool applies probabilistic and deterministic methods to calculate the combined reserve requirements, and provides an input into our production cost optimisation tool. If you would like to discuss this tool further then please say hello
production cost optimisation tool
The production cost optimisation model has been developed by MPE and is based on a MILP (Mixed Integer Linear Programming) model using IBM/CPLEX as solver. The production cost optimisation model balances flexibility requirements and flexibility resource and calculates overall production cost over a period of one year while respecting all constraints, including flexibility constraints and grid constraints. By having our own in-house tool we can add / modify / remove constraints as required for different power systems and generation technologies as required. If you would like to discuss this tool further, then please say hello
Cost of fuel
Cost of start-ups and shut-downs
Cost of significant load ramps
grid code updates and support
With new power system technologies (e.g. renewable generation, storage, HVDC interconnectors, active network management (ANM) or distributed energy resource management systems (DERMs) etc.) the existing grid code or connection agreement technical requirements are no longer appropriate. MPE has extensive experience of grid code and connection agreement development in Europe, Africa, Asia and Central America. We can support you or lead with the following tasks:
Grid & distribution code development
Grid & distribution code review and amendment
Connection agreement / PPA development & negotiation
Grid code review panel engagement & public consultation support
For these topics MPE has the ability to lead on the technical / engineering aspects, and can bring in our trusted partners with power system legal experience, or market & strategy expertise as required.
standards review & support
Whether its for an international standard, or an internal transmission or distribution standard, MPE can support you with review, update or development. Aspects to be considered include introduction of new technology, verification of calculations from first principles, usability of the standard, and discussion / defense of the new standard during public or industry consultation. Some examples of the standards MPE has been involved with include:
Update and verification of ER G74 standard in UK (short circuit studies)
Comment of ER P28 standard in UK (flicker and rapid voltage change)
Comment of ER G5/5 standard in UK to two separate private clients (harmonic studies)
Development of operational standards for Eskom in South Africa
Update of protection standards for Eskom in South Africa
Update of planning standards for Eskom in South Africa
Power system or project development is not simply a matter of meeting technical requirements. It is essential that different options are compared to ensure that solutions are delivered considering optimised CAPEX and OPEX. Therefore economic aspects must be considered in most projects. MPE can assist you by performing the following:
Net present value calculations of losses vs. different CAPEX options
Assessment of increased flexibility costs due to variable generation
Assessment of different reinforcement options vs. curtailment
Levelised cost of energy (LCOE) calcuations
harmonic & transient measurements
We can provide recorders for transient and harmonic measurements to provide input to studies, for verification of mitigation measures, or for incident investigation purposes.
We can then process and analyse the data for you, comment on events captured, and design suitable mitigation measures (e.g. harmonic filters or surge arresters) as required.
site electrical survey
Over time, documentation for installed equipment can be lost, be superseded, or may never have existed. Inadequate documentation can stall upgrade or extension projects, complicates maintenance, and can be a health & safety risk.
MPE can perform a site electrical survey to update single line diagrams, collect equipment nameplate data, record settings for protection relays and control equipment, and more.
grid code compliance testing
MPE's engineers have extensive experience with grid code compliance testing, and verification of models against test results. Additionally we have authored compliance manuals to simplify the process for power station developers.
From a utility perspective we can help develop your compliance testing requirements for all types of generation, storage and interconnector technologies.
From a developer's perspective we can perform the required tests on your site and produce the necessary documentation for the utility. This includes: AVR and PSS testing (including noise injection), governor / active power control testing, and reactive power capability confirmation.
training & workshops
For the services we provide to our clients, we often conclude with training or a workshop to allow capacity building, and wider discussion / challenge of our results.
Any topic from our range of services can be covered, and any format can be achieved. We favor interactive style workshops to keep attendees engaged and focused.
We can also support existing workshops or working groups, e.g. CIGRE or grid code review panels, where we can run the agenda or provide the required technical input to best meet the needs of the group.
generation expansion planning
To cater for expanding load growth, MPE can plan generation requirements for large and small power systems of the future. This can include options such as:
New generation (including techno-economic selection of plant type in line with renewable targets) New interconnection (with other countries or power systems) Demand side response Storage technologies
If you have a question about our services, or would like to talk about how we can help with one of your projects then please use the form below, or use the email addresses on our say hello page. Both methods send your query to the same location, where we will find the right person to respond to you as soon as possible: