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Unpacking NERC’s 2024 Wind Data Reporting Instructions

In this blog we will discuss updates of NERC Wind DRI for 2024, and examine their impact on the wind energy sector. NERC guidelines and standards are key in shaping industry practices, particularly in renewable sectors such as wind energy.

Wind energy reporting has seen a dynamic transformation over the years. Initially, wind energy was a minor contributor to the grid, and reporting requirements were relatively basic. As wind power’s share in the energy mix grew, so did the need for more detailed and rigorous reporting.

These standards not only help in maintaining grid stability/reliability but also pave the way for the integration of more wind energy into the national grid.

Which Plants Are Impacted ?

As shown by the image below plants 20 MW and above must report by 2025 while plants 100 MW and above must report starting in 2024.

The key items are Performance and Event Reporting. Performance Reporting will require gathering of different buckets of hours such as forced, maintenance, unable to run due to wind speed,etc; event reporting will require the actual start and end times when a turbine is fully out due to a forced/unexpected outage. 

For generators with no existing reporting, these changes will require several months to understand and ensure proper reporting policies and procedures.

For generators with existing reporting under 2023 NERC standards, the big change will be event reporting and will still require several months of work as events are the most complicated part of the reporting.

Compliance with these new standards will also become a key focus, as failure to adhere could lead to penalties or operational inefficiencies. On the positive side, these changes promise to improve the overall management and reliability of wind energy, benefiting both providers and consumers.

Key changes in NERC’s 2024 Wind DRI

Delving deeper into the 2024 updates offers new insights in several areas:

Data Record Types

  • The classification of data records has been refined, demanding more specific categorization of wind plant operational data.
  • The following 3 types of data files will be reported
    • Configuration Data
    • Monthly Performance Data
    • Event Data

Configuration Data

  • Configuration Data Requirement
    Configuration data, encompassing location, environment, and design details of the plant, sub-group, or energy storage, is mandatory before reporting performance or event data. This data is reviewed annually and updated as needed.
  • Unique ID Assignment
    Upon initial import of configuration data into the GADS Wind reporting application, unique IDs are assigned to the plant, sub-groups, and on-site energy storage groups, remaining constant throughout their lifecycle.
  • Reporting Timeframe
    Configuration data must be reported in the first full month following the Commercial Operating Date (COD), acquisition, or repowering, and can be updated as changes occur.
  • Plant Configuration Data Fields
    Plant data includes fields like Entity ID, Region, Plant ID, and Location Coordinates. This data is crucial, with each plant receiving a unique identifier upon importing its configuration template.
  • Subgroup Configuration Details
    The subgroup report includes information on equipment, capacity, topography, and meteorological characteristics. It is essential for subgroup comparisons and benchmarking activities.
  • Energy Storage Group Configuration
    An Energy Storage Group, characterized by its manufacturer, design, and system capacity, receives a unique identifier from NERC. This group’s performance data is reported monthly.
  • Regulatory Compliance
    NERC requires that values reported to it match those reported to other agencies like the EIA. This ensures consistency and compliance across different regulatory frameworks.

Performance Reporting

  • Purpose of Performance Data
    Performance data provides summarized information on wind plant operations, including sub-groups or energy storage groups, for a specific month and year. It’s essential for calculating performance, reliability, and availability statistics.
  • Reporting Schedule
    Performance data is summarized monthly and required to be reported quarterly, within 45 days of each quarter’s end. Reporting begins with the third full month after the Commercial Operation Date (COD), acquisition, or repowering.
  • Subgroup Performance Records
    This includes data fields like Entity ID, Plant ID, Sub-Group ID, and various metrics such as Gross Actual Generation (GAG) and Expected Generation (MWh). All fields are mandatory for accurate performance tracking.
  • Detailed Field Descriptions
    Each field, like Net Actual Generation (NAG) and Active Turbine-Hours (ACTH), has specific requirements. For instance, NAG is the net generation recorded at the subgroup boundary, and ACTH is the number of turbine-hours in an active state.
  • Energy Storage Group Performance Record
    Similar to subgroup performance, this record contains fields for Entity ID, Plant ID, Energy Storage Group ID, and several performance metrics like Charge Generation (MWh) and Discharge Generation (MWh).
  • Outage Hours Reporting
    For energy storage groups, reporting includes details on Charging Hours, Discharging Hours, and various types of Outage Hours (Forced, Maintenance, Planned). This data is crucial for assessing the operational status and reliability of energy storage systems.
  • Compliance and Consistency
    Entities are required to report accurately and consistently, adhering to NERC’s instructions. This ensures uniformity in performance data across all reporting entities.

Performance Data Fields

ColumnField Name
1Entity ID
2Plant ID
3Sub-Group ID
4Report Period (month)
5Report Year
6Sub Group-Status
7Gross Actual Generation (GAG)
8Expected Generation (MWh)
9Net Actual Generation (NAG)
10Net Maximum Capacity (NMC)
11Active Turbine-Hours (ACTH)
12Contact Turbine-Hours (CTH)
13Reserve Shutdown Turbine-Hours (RSTH)
14Forced Turbine-Hours (FTH)
15Maintenance Turbine-Hours (MTH)
16Planned Turbine-Hours (PTH)
17Resource Unavailable Turbine-Hours (RUTH)
18Inactive Reserve Turbine-Hours (IRTH)
19Mothballed Turbine-Hours (MBTH)
20Retired Unit Turbine-Hours (RTH)

Event Data

  • When to Report Event Data
    Event data must be reported on the same schedule as performance data, which is within 45 days of the end of each quarter.

    For newly commissioned, acquired, or repowered plants, if an event meeting the Event Criteria occurs after the commercial operation or acquisition date, it must be reported within 45 days of the end of that quarter, regardless of whether monthly performance reporting has started​​.
  • Event Criteria:
    An event starts when there is a loss of at least 20 MW of Plant Total Installed Capacity due to a forced outage.

    As shown below, the event ends when 95% of the Plant Total Installed Capacity that was unavailable due to the forced outage event has been returned to service, and less than 20 MW of Plant Total Installed Capacity is unavailable due to a forced outage

Plant Event Record

ColumnField NameColumn Header LabelEntry typeRequired or Voluntary
1Entity IDEntityIDAlpha-Numeric-10Required
2Plant IDPlantIDNumeric – 10Required
3Event IDEventIDAlpha-Numeric-20Required
4Time ZoneTimeZoneAlpha-3Required
5Event Start Date/TimeStartDTmm/dd/yyyy HH:MMRequired
6Event End Date/TimeEndDTmm/dd/yyyy HH:MMRequired
7Event TypeEventTypeAlpha-Numeric-10Required
8Cause CodeCauseCodeNumeric – 5Required
9Contributing Operating ConditionConditionAlpha-Numeric – 1Required
10DescriptionDescriptionAlpha-Numeric-500Voluntary
11Potential MWh Production LossMWHLossNumeric – 12Required

Challenges and Solutions

Implementing these guidelines won’t be without challenges. Wind energy providers may face technical and logistical hurdles in upgrading their systems to meet the new standards.

Due to the nature and volume of Wind data, we suggest that all generators work to automate Event and Performance data creation as much as possible.

This will ensure that generators can provide accurate data to NERC to ensure compliance and will also minimize the risk of penalties associated with reporting incorrect data.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Unpacking NERC’s 2024 Wind Data Reporting Instructions

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