Electrical markets and regulatory challenges for the system operators in Latin America

Recently, Latin American electricity markets have experienced a series of events that have resulted in a sub-optimal operation of their electric power systems, and therefore a rise in energy prices to the consumer. Regulators are often interested in reviewing and updating as needed, the role, structure, and responsibilities of the power system operator in order to identify areas of opportunity and recommend actions towards the best practices of the industry within the framework of a truly independent power system operator. The main objective is always maintaining reliability under an optimal economic dispatch, which results in the lowest possible costs and prices to the end consumers.

This panel will present a review on international best practices from a regulator perspective with respect to how power system operators deal with different situations that impact the economic operation of the system and therefore the wholesale energy prices, for example:

The role of energy storage as an enabler for renewable energy integration in Latin America

Renewable energy auctions have become useful mechanisms for the purchase of new significant energy capacity in Latin American such as Mexico and Chile. Mexico is planning to add 2 GW of new renewable energy capacity and Chile is planning to add 2.2 GWh to ensure long-term power supply. Renewable energy is bringing down wholesale generation prices. Colombia, Peru and Ecuador and also in position to incorporate renewable energy on its plans based on their own natural resources.

Also, the increased penetration of renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, require more flexibility of the electric power system to deal with their variability. Energy storage has been identified as a key technology that is needed to compensate the inherent fluctuations of energy production. While globally, energy storage has been amply demonstrated, the full potential in Latin America is still to come. This panel shares the perspectives of power system operators, transmission or distribution companies regarding the impact of renewable sources into the grid and the degree in which energy storage could be a solution for key applications such as frequency support, peak shaving, transmission congestion relief, and others.

Success stories about technology deployments that improved the power system performance:
A Service Providers Perspective.

Currently, Latin American electric power systems are experiencing load growth resulting in grid congestion and difficulties to build new transmission infrastructure to reliably serve the load. This is resulting in interesting opportunities for technologies that helped to increase power system security and reliability.

This panel is an opportunity for electric power sector service providers to share with the industry at large their success stories, under a practical, post mortem lessons learned perspective. The success stories will include the following technical themes: