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Operating High Variable, Renewable Generation Power Systems: Lessons Learned from Ireland and Northern Ireland

16 September 2015

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with EirGrid, hosted this webinar-based on lessons learned from Ireland and Northern Ireland on operating power systems with high levels of variable renewable generation.

The challenges of operating a power system with very high levels of variable, renewable generation (predominantly wind) sources are being met by the DS3 (Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System) programme in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The overarching aim of the DS3 programme is to transform the electricity system in Ireland and Northern Ireland and pave the way for a secure and sustainable electricity system of the future. Given the isolated nature of the synchronous power system of Ireland and Northern Ireland and the limited interconnection, the 40% renewable electricity target, which will largely be delivered by wind generation, is the most challenging target in the European Union.

DS3 incorporates mutually reinforcing innovative techno-economic and regulatory initiatives designed to meet our renewable targets by 2020. This unique programme is divided into three pillars: System Performance, System Policies, and System Tools. DS3 is about more than making the necessary operational changes to manage more renewable generation; it is also about the evolution of the wider electricity industry and implementing changes in the market and regulatory sphere that ultimately benefit the end consumer. By working with the regulatory authorities and the wider electricity industry, a number of new, highly innovative and forward-thinking tools, policies and methodologies have been developed under DS3. Consequently, Ireland and Northern Ireland are now leading the world in the integration of wind generation.


Robbie Aherne, BE, MSc, CEngRobbie Aherne, BE, MSc, CEng

Robbie Aherne is the DS3 Programme Manager at EirGrid, the Transmission System Operator in Ireland. He received his BE in Electrical Engineering from University College Cork, Ireland, and recently completed an MSc in Electrical Power Systems from the University of Bath, United Kingdom. He has been working in EirGrid for 10 years in a variety of roles including power system planning, near time and real time power system operations and long term strategic operational planning. He is a member of the ENTSO-E Ancillary Services working group, the Cigre Ireland National Committee and the Engineers Ireland Electrical and Electronic Division Committee.

Lisa McMullanLisa McMullan, BE, MSc

Lisa McMullan works on the DS3 Program at EirGrid, the Transmission System Operator in Ireland. She received a BE in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and an MSc in Energy Management from Dublin Institute of Technology. She has been working in EirGrid for 6 years in a number of different roles including power system access planning and more recently in long term strategic operational planning and real time power system operations. She is a member of Cigre and Engineers Ireland.