Accessibility navigation

A new framework for using weather‐sensitive surplus power reserves in critical infrastructure

Fallon, J. ORCID:, Brayshaw, D. ORCID:, Methven, J. ORCID:, Jensen, K. and Krug, L. (2023) A new framework for using weather‐sensitive surplus power reserves in critical infrastructure. Meteorological Applications, 30 (6). e2158. ISSN 1469-8080

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/met.2158


Reserve power systems are widely used to provide power to critical infrastructure systems in the event of power outages. The reserve power system may be subject to regulation, typically focussing on a strict operational time commitment, but the energy involved in supplying reserve power may be highly variable. For example, if heating or cooling is involved, energy consumption may be strongly influenced by prevailing weather conditions and seasonality. Replacing legacy assets (often diesel generators) with modern technologies could offer potential benefits and services back to the wider electricity system when not in use, therefore supporting a transition to low-carbon energy networks. Drawing on the Great Britain telecommunications systems as an example, this paper demonstrates that meteorological reanalyses can be used to evaluate capacity requirements to maintain the regulated target of 5-days operational reserve. Across three case-study regions with diverse weather sensitivities, infrastructure with cooling-driven electricity demand is shown to increase energy consumption during summer, thus determining the overall capacity of the reserve required and the availability of ‘surplus’ capacity. Lower risk tolerance is shown to lead to a substantial cost increase in terms of capacity required but also enhanced opportunities for surplus capacity. The use of meteorological forecast information is shown to facilitate increased surplus capacity. Availability of surplus capacity is compared to a measure of supply–stress (demand-net-wind) on the wider energy network. For infrastructure with cooling-driven demand (typical of most UK telecommunication assets), it is shown that surplus availability peaks during periods of supply–stress, offering the greatest potential benefit to the national electricity grid.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Energy Research
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:114191
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation