The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has removed an exemption for wind generators from the requirement to provide reactive power as a condition of interconnection.
It issued a final rule on the matter last week.
Wind generators were exempted from the requirement as the costs of building a wind facility capable of providing reactive power were high and could have impeded wind development. The commission however said that costs had declined and no longer presented an obstacle to development. As a result, the exemption for wind was unjust and unduly discriminatory. Also, the expansion of wind on some systems increased the likelihood of a deficiency in reactive power, the regulator said.
The rule will see all newly-interconnecting non-synchronous generators required to provide reactive power at the high-side of the generator substation within the range of 0.95 leading to 0.95 lagging. It applies to generators that have not executed a Facilities Study Agreement as of the effective date of the rule, or 90 days within its publication in the federal register.
Non-synchronous generators could meet the dynamic reactive power requirement by using a combination of the inherent dynamic reactive power capability of the inverter, dynamic reactive power devices like static VAR compensators and static reactive power devices such as capacitors to make up for losses, the document says.
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