Spinning reserve (synchronized reserve)

Spinning reserve (synchronized reserve)

Image Courtesy: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

generation capacity that is online but unloaded and that can respond within 10 minutes to compensate for generation or transmission outages. “Frequency-responsive” spinning reserve responds within 10 seconds to maintain system frequency. Spinning reserves are the first type of reserves used when shortfalls occur.


Provides grid operators options to compensate for sudden and unexpected loss of another generation source.


Not a contract guaranteed revenue.

Real Talk

The name spinning reserve comes from the use of large rotating (spinning) mechanical energy generators (e.g. steam turbines).

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