SIPS in the Colombian Interconnected Power System ? System Integrity Protection Schemes

Authors: Jorge VĂ©lez, XM, Colombia , Solveig Ward and David Elizondo, Quanta Technology, USA

These actions are part of the Defense Plans aimed at preserving the electric power system reliability of any country. Defense plans are in general defined as a set of coordinated automatic measures intended to ensure that the overall power system is protected against major disturbances which involves multiple contingencies, generally not caused by natural calamity or common system faults. Defense plans are used to minimize and reduce the severity and consequences of low probability and unexpected events and to prevent system collapse.

The Colombian BPS is not an exception to the above described situation. Similarly to other countries, Colombia has used its last blackout that occurred in April 2007 as a reference for definition of actions needed to minimize or mitigate the impacts of disturbances that have large-scale consequences. This is the reason why since 2007 XM as a system operator of the Colombian power grid has developed a Defense Plan to increase system reliability according to the current regulatory framework.

Defense Plans for the Colombian Power System have been designed to mitigate system impacts of low probability of occurrence and high impact events. The plan starts with a complete training program for the operators in parallel with upgrading technology for control and supervision of the power system. Additionally, relationships between system operator and generator owners, transmission and distribution operators, and regulatory agents, have been reinforced to define clear signals for enhanced reliability of the grid.

Following training programs and relationship strategy, a new stage for Defense Plans started. At the beginning of 2012, an international benchmark seeking the best practices in planning, operation, and protection of the power system was developed until mid-2013. In this benchmark, current Colombian practices and policies have been compared with their counterparts in North America (United States and Canada) and Sweden. The main purpose of the project was to develop recommendations for planning, operation and protection process of the system operator, considering current technical and operative restrictions of the system as well as new technologies such as Phasor Measurements.

The objective of this article is to present an overview of the current system integrity protection schemes SIPS currently in use in the national electric power system of Colombia and present the results of an extensive analysis which concluded, among other items, the need of a better SIPS definition, application and delineation of roles and responsibilities among the electric power system entities.

In order to achieve the objectives, of this article provides a high level overview of the national electric power system in Colombia, including its key transmission and generation characteristics as well as the bulk market structure of the Colombian power system. Thus a narrative discussion of the SIPS currently in use in Colombia and, based on the current SIPS definition in the literature, describes the classification criteria to better define the current SIPS based on the impact on the system. Functional descriptions of each classification and a summary of the new proposed application of the SIPS and the basis for a more defined delineation of roles and responsibilities are also included in order to pave the road for continued improvement of the reliability of the national electric power system. Finally the lessons learned and next steps are summarized in which a number of the initiatives that follow these studies are presented and discussed.

Colombian Interconnected Electric Power System
The Colombian power grid is composed by 24,392 km of transmission lines with voltages levels from 110 kV up to 500 kV, distributed as shown in Figure 1.
The system has an installed generation capacity of 14,361 MW (at the end of 2012), dominated mainly by hydroelectric sources. The generation portfolio of the Colombian power system is shown in Figure 2.

As described in Figure 3, XM is in charge of operating the National Interconnected Power System and administering the Wholesale Electricity Market through the National Dispatch Center (CND is its acronym in Spanish).
The continuous operation of the Colombian electric power system in a reliable and secure fashion under the current challenges previously described in Section I of this article motivated the development of Defense Plans. The system operator’s role in these Defense Plans is vital.

SIPS in Colombia
This section describes the SIPS classification criteria and presents brief functional descriptions of generation, transmission, and load related SIPS currently installed in the country.



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