We propose a method for determining the most likely cause, in terms of conventional generator outages and renewable fluctuations, of power system frequency reaching a predetermined level that is deemed unacceptable to the system operator. Our parsimonious model of system frequency incorporates primary and secondary control mechanisms, and supposes that conventional outages occur according to a Poisson process and renewable fluctuations follow a diffusion process. We utilize a large deviations theory based approach that outputs the most likely cause of a large excursion of frequency from its desired level. These results yield the insight that current levels of renewable power generation do not significantly increase system vulnerability in terms of frequency deviations relative to conventional failures. However, for a large range of model parameters it is possible that such vulnerabilities may arise as renewable penetration increases.

energy systems, large deviations theory, Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process, Poisson process, power system frequency, renewable energy, Schilder's theorem, stochastic processes
International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Patch, B.J, & Zwart, A.P. (2020). Analyzing large frequency disruptions in power systems using large deviations theory. In 2020 International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems, PMAPS 2020 - Proceedings. doi:10.1109/PMAPS47429.2020.9183551