The role of power stations

 

Wind turbines in front of Avedøre Power Plant

At DONG Energy, we work to provide clean and reliable energy

 

 

The role of power stationsThe role of power stations

DONG Energy's power stations play an important role now and in the future energy system. They supply heat and electricity to our customers and provide voltage to the power grid, which is needed to transmit power from wind turbines to our customers.

  • ​The power stations supply electricity and heat to our customers
  • The power stations provide voltage to the power grid, so we can receive power from wind turbines

The power stations' primary tasks

The primary function of DONG Energy's power stations is to supply heat and electricity to our customers. Consumption varies both over a day and over the year. That is why we constantly adjust the central power stations, so there is always sufficient heat and electricity for our customers.

The power stations have the additional function of maintaining a constant voltage on the power grid. The grid must have a voltage or frequency as close to 50 Hz as possible. If the frequency is slightly higher or lower than the 50 Hz, the grid becomes less stable, leading to a risk of power cuts. We therefore have an emergency plan ready if circumstances arise that cause the frequency to fluctuate.

The emergency plan consists among other things of Kyndby Power Station, which is Zealand's emergency and peak load facility. If there are disruptions on the power grid, Kyndby Power Station can come on line within a few minutes. This enables the frequency on the power grid to be maintained at around 50 Hz, avoiding power cuts – so-called black-outs.

The future role of our power stations 

At DONG Energy, we work to provide clean and reliable energy. This affects our power stations' future role in the energy system and their production methods. We are in the process of making a large proportion of our production greener by replacing coal and gas with wood pellets, wood chips and other residual products. This means that, in future, we will be able to supply green district heat to a large number of the 3.4 million Danes that currently heat their homes by district heat.

Furthermore, the share of power from wind turbines is increasing. The amount of power provided by turbines fluctuates considerably, depending on how much wind there is. Power stations must therefore be able to quickly ramp up production if the wind drops. At the same time, power stations must provide the necessary voltage to the power grid, so we can receive power from wind turbines. Power stations therefore have an important role to play in the future.

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Power stations interacting with wind turbinesPower stations interacting with wind turbines

DONG Energy has developed advanced control systems that allow our power stations to rapidly adjust thermal electricity production to the power output from our wind farms.

  • Increased share of renewable energy
  • Integration of wind power into the electricity grid
  • Advanced operating systems for the regulation of thermal electricity production
In Denmark renewable energy has first priority in the energy ranking system. Wind turbines generate power when the wind is blowing, and the power must be used as it is produced as it cannot be stored on a large scale.

Balancing production and demand 

In order to use wind energy as part of a reliable energy supply, power stations must be capable of ramping thermal electricity production up or down in response to the power output from wind farms and overall power demand. Power stations must consequently be able to take over power generation during low wind periods or when demand exceeds the electricity generated by renewable energy sources.

Modernising power stations

Most of DONG Energy's thermal power stations were built before wind energy became widely used. They were originally designed to generate a steady and almost constant power output. Over time we have consequently modernised our power stations and developed advanced operating systems that efficiently adjust the stations' thermal energy production to the volume of wind-generated power. Some of our power stations can be ramped up from low to full load in only 15 minutes.
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DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe. We are headquartered in Denmark.

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