EDF Renewables submits proposals to address limitations of ERCOT’s Constraint Management Plan

On August 31 of this year, EDF Renewables proposed revisions to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ (ERCOT) Nodal Protocol (NPRR1198) and Nodal Operation Guide  (NOGRR258), which inform the Constraint Management Plan (CMP) process. EDFR’s revision requests aim to have topology optimization be considered to mitigate economic congestion, addressing key limitations in ERCOT’s CMP process.  Currently, topology optimization is only considered to address reliability challenges. 

Traditionally, reconfigurations are identified manually based on operator experience. Topology Optimization software is a Grid Enhancing Technology (GET) that can quickly find optimal reconfigurations to improve system reliability and resilience and reduce transmission congestion by leveraging flexibility across the transmission system. Applications of topology optimization by NewGrid Inc. found 40% average congestion cost savings in a study with Alliant Energy in MISO.

The NPRR1198 and NOGRR258 aim to create a scalable, transparent, predictable, equitable, and reliable process for topology reconfiguration requests through ERCOT’s existing CMP process. These proposals would provide market efficiencies and enhancements that reflect the advancements in topology optimization software, meet certain goals as part of ERCOT’s Strategic Plan, and address current operational issues. EDFR said: 

“As topology optimization is a technological reality, to delay its natural implementation would distort price signals and mislead investors.”

EDFR’s proposals, developed in conjunction with ERCOT staff, also have the support of the Independent Market Monitor, and revision requests are currently being  discussed across several stakeholder groups in ERCOT. This effort can serve as another example for how RTOs can start to integrate GETs into their various planning and operational processes: Midcontinent ISO (MISO), for instance, established their cost reconfiguration process in June of this year, where market participants can request grid reconfigurations to reduce congestion.