Another category of projects that I'm working on is utilising wind power to operate as conventional power units and increase its value for system operators. In this field I examine the possibility to provide ancillary services (services which ensure that power systems remain stable under disturbances and provide security of supply). Ancillary services are one of the main factors determining the technologies that comprise the power system, as security of supply cannot be compromised.
When I applied to the Vattenfall International Trainee Programme, I stated that I want to be part of and drive the changes in the energy industry as well as being creative in my daily work. From my experiences I can tell that these are indeed important drivers. Looking back at the first five months, I'm particularly proud of my contribution to the provision of reactive power from wind farms to support grid voltage. Complex, interdisciplinary projects are the best way to accelerate one's learning rate.
On a daily basis, my work allows me to delve into the various technical, regulatory and market aspects of the wind energy business. Bringing them all together is challenging but also extremely rewarding, as I can get a complete overview of the wind industry. The multidisciplinary nature of the project means there exists a need to transfer knowledge and having discussions with lots of people. The office in Kolding, Denmark houses several civil, SCADA (that is supervisory control and data acquisition), electrical engineers who are quite enthusiastic and eager to share their knowledge and assist in the projects. Approximately 60% of my colleagues in Kolding are originally from abroad. Diversity and inclusion are very important principles within Vattenfall. Coming from Greece, with very limited international working environments, I can tell that diversity not only improves performance by combining the positive characteristics of each culture, it also makes for a more exciting and fun workday!
The upcoming months I will start my two assignments. This is one of the most exciting aspects of the traineeship, as it is a unique opportunity to explore the activities of different departments, transfer knowledge and spot opportunities for cross-departmental cooperation. I will start my first assignment in Business Area Markets, where I will investigate the impact of transmission congestion management for wind power on various market levels.
Being a trainee means that you put yourself to the test and prepare for the energy system of the future. The change is coming and we must be open and positive, in order to focus on the solutions and not the problems.