Duke Energy Renewables announced on July 28 that its control center now serves more than 3,500 megawatts of wind and solar energy plants across the U.S. since it opened in its new location in 2015.
As a result of this rapid growth, the center is further enhancing its cyber security and other capabilities.
"The expanded Renewable Control Center (RCC) is at the heart of our growing renewable operations across the U.S.," said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables & Distributed Energy Technology. "The enhanced RCC increases our ability to safely and reliably operate wind and solar plants across the country and maximizes the performance of our assets and those of our third-party customers."
The RCC oversees Duke Energy Renewables' more than 2,500 megawatts (MW) of wind, solar and battery installations located in 12 states. It also serves another 1,000 MW of renewable energy plants owned by third-party generators.
The center is registered as a generator-operator with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and is implementing additional cyber security controls this year to meet NERC's Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) requirements. This certification raises the security standards for both physical and cyber assets and will be completed by year-end.
State-of-the-art RCC can save customers money and improve performance
"The RCC greatly enhances our boots-on-the-ground operations, maintenance and safety offerings to other renewable energy operators," said Jeff Wehner, vice president of Duke Energy Renewable Operations.
"We're now able to offer both our expertise as owner-operators and the advanced technology and security of a CIP-compliant control center to others in the renewable industry," he added. "This gives them access to a proven operator without having to invest the time and money to build a control center of their own."
RCC operators are familiar with the requirements of U.S. transmission operators, including both regional transmission organizations and independent system operators. The RCC is also a qualified scheduling entity in the Texas transmission system (ERCOT), and has operator certification in the PJM market, the U.S. transmission organization that controls the Mid-Atlantic energy grid.
Other services include providing information about plant scheduling, weather, outage planning, generation status, day-ahead and seven-day production forecasts, plant curtailment and data compilation.