- Research area
Develop a resilient net-zero energy system
- Research project
Risk-informed Planning and Reliability Evaluation of Hybrid Wind Power Plants
- Lead supervisor
- PhD Student
- Supervisory Team
Professor Matthias Troffaes (Professor, Probability - Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University)
Professor Christopher Crabtree (Professor – Wind Energy Systems, Durham University)
This Research Project is part of the Aura CDT’s Hybrid Offshore Wind Energy Solutions Cluster.
Global wind electricity generation capacity has been growing at a steady rate in recent years. In the year 2022, wind resources combined generated over 60 TWh of electricity in the UK which accounts for 23% of the UK’s total demand. Meanwhile, there are plans to quadruple the UK’s offshore wind capacity to a total of 50 GW. Continuous investment in development of large-scale Offshore Wind Farms (OWFs) is crucial to achieve the UK’s net-zero targets. To this end, Hybrid Wind Power Plants (HWPP) emerge as a viable path for maximising the penetration of offshore wind energy in a reliable manner that does not compromise the reliability and operability of the UK’s electricity grid. In the context of this project, HWPPs are offshore wind farms that are coupled either with a form of energy storage (e.g., batteries or hydrogen), are coupled with another energy source (e.g., solar-PV or hydro-PV) or a combination of both. HWPPs potentially have a higher efficiency than pure OWFs and can also mitigate their inherent risks to stable operation of the electricity grid due to their ability to balance the otherwise variable output of the OWF. Yet, HWPPs rely on emerging technologies (for example in case of hydrogen) with little to no existing operational experience and/or data, hence quite severe uncertainty, and therefore inherent substantially increased risk.
The focus of this project is to develop a holistic planning framework to support risk-informed investment decisions for development and deployment of HWPPs under different regulatory environments. The novelty of this project is that it will adopt an interdisciplinary approach toward realising this goal combining advanced mathematical modelling techniques with engineering know-how. To this end, this project will make use of a combination of open-access data and, where appropriate, synthetic data (generated from accelerated lifetime testing) to inform and characterise failure models for different systems/subassemblies of a HWPP, from the point of generation all the way to the point of common coupling with the onshore transmission grid, thereby developing a comprehensive framework for analysing the reliability and availability of HWPPs throughout their designated operational lifespan. The project will then make use of advanced statistical tools suitable for quantifying the inherent severe uncertainty throughout the decision process thereby de-risking eventual investment decisions for large-scale deployment of HWPPs.