Fast Frequency Response
Fast Frequency Response (FFR) is a fast-acting transmission reliability service that facilitates the arrest of, and recovery from, frequency decay caused by events such as the sudden loss of imports from the Alberta–B.C. Intertie and the Montana–Alberta Tie Line and/or internal generation. This service is currently provided through Load Shed Service for imports (LSSi), whereby load customers are under contract to be quickly taken offline following the sudden loss of imports coming across the interties.
- FFR Forced Outage Submission Form [Posted: June 28, 2021]
- Prescribed Form FFR Communication Confirmation [Posted: June 28, 2021]
FFR Service Through New Technologies
The AESO conducted a Fast Frequency Response Pilot (FFR Pilot) to assess the capability of new technologies, including Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), to help arrest and stabilize under-frequency excursions to mitigate the impact of a sudden supply loss. The service terms began in Q1 2022 and concluded in Q1 2023.
On June 26, 2023, the AESO published a report documenting the outcomes and lessons learned from the FFR Pilot, including insights into the performance of BESS and its potential as a reliable FFR resource. The Fast Frequency Response Pilot | Lessons Learned report presents an overview of the pilot program, including background information, facility details, testing results and key findings.
Additional studies concerning the effects of incremental power injection within the distribution network, as mentioned in the Section 3.6 of the Lessons Learned report have been completed and can be found in the FFR Pilot Lessons Learned | Update, published on October 18, 2023. These studies were conducted to assess the potential impact of incremental power injection on voltage levels within the distribution network, which could lead to distributed energy resource trips while providing FFR.
Alternate FFR service options were investigated through the AESO’s Request for Information for Solutions to Mitigate the Instantaneous Impacts of Sudden Supply Loss (RFI) to determine potential alternative solutions over multiple implementation time horizons.
The FFR Pilot and RFI are included in the AESO’s 2023 Reliability Requirements Roadmap—a comprehensive framework that contemplates the AESO’s broad range of initiatives to address the reliability challenges emerging, or expected to emerge, as the grid transforms.
FFR Pilot Competition
The FFR Pilot Competition launched on March 24, 2021 with the Request for Proposals stage, and the proposal submission deadline was May 3, 2021. The AESO successfully completed the competitive procurement and contracts were awarded to two successful bidders who submitted qualified proposals. The two successful proponents, their respective facilities and contract volumes are listed below.
Proponent Name, FFR Facility Name
Contract Volume (MW)
Canadian Hydro Developers Inc.
Summerview WindCharger (SUM1)
WCSB Power Holdings LP
eReserve1 (ERV1) Rycroft
The service term with each successful bidder is one year, which commenced in March 2022.
The FFR Pilot Competition was overseen by a Fairness Advisor at every stage to ensure the competition, including the evaluation process, was administered in a fair and open manner and adhered to good industry procurement practices, strict confidentiality requirements and applicable policies and guidelines. To read the Fast Frequency Response Pilot Procurement Competition Fairness Advisor Summary Report, please click here.
Materials and resources
- FFR Pilot Lessons Learned | Update [Posted: Oct. 18, 2023]
- Fast Frequency Response Pilot | Lessons Learned [Posted: June 26, 2023]
- Updated MSA-AESO FFR Pilot Letter dated Feb. 2, 2022 [Posted Feb. 25, 2022]
- Initial MSA-AESO FFR Pilot Letter [Posted March 24, 2021]
- Request for Proposals [Posted: July 15, 2021]
- Import Fast Frequency Response Agreement* [Posted: July 15, 2021]
- FFR Pilot Questions and Answers [Posted: March 24, 2021]
*The AESO has subsequently updated the proforma agreement to adjust the maximum response time to 18 cycles (or 0.3 seconds) and to adjust the frequency setpoint to 59.6 Hz, based on feedback provided during the FFR Pilot and to further explore the abilities of new technology to provide this service.
Please direct any general comments or questions about the FFR Pilot Competition to FFRPilot@aeso.ca.