Smart grid technology from ABB Australia played a key role in the successful integration of Australia’s first community owned wind farm into the local electricity grid.
Leading power and automation technologies specialist ABB has announced that its new smart grid technology, STATCOM PCS 100 was used to connect the renewable energy generated by the Hepburn Wind farm into the electricity grid.
Consisting of two REpower MM82 2.05 MW wind turbines, the new wind farm is located in central Victoria and provides a total capacity of 4 MW of power, producing enough electricity for 2,300 homes across Daylesford and Hepburn Springs.
With increased focus on renewable energy, the wind power generation industry in Australia is responding to the increased demand for low carbon electricity. ABB Australia is working actively with the industry to supply smart grid solutions that enable them to connect clean energy into the main power grid.
According to Peter Duncan, ABB’s local business manager for Power Electronics Systems, the wind farm order is a direct result of their desire to develop a new modular and scalable smart grid solution to support the renewable energy and electricity sector in Australia.
The introduction of the new STATCOM PCS 100 smart grid solutions in the market allows ABB to provide scalability from 100 KVAr to several Megavar (MVAr).
ABB delivered and commissioned its first STATCOM PCS 100 in April 2011. The STATCOM has a continuous rating of ±1.1 MVAr reactive power and also provides a degree of active harmonic filtration.
The STATCOM PCS 100 is connected at 22 kV in the wind farm with the aim of enabling the wind engineering consultants, Consolidated Power Projects to fulfil the network connection agreement. The grid code demands that power plants of any kind support the electricity network throughout their operation.
Despite using some of the best turbine technology available, additional equipment such as a STATCOM was needed due to the particularly difficult network conditions. The STATCOM converter monitors the line current and voltage in order to promptly provide the capacitive or inductive reactive power.
Designed for fast, easy and cost-efficient installation, ABB’s STATCOM PCS 100 solution is a modular, redundant, air-cooled, low voltage converter mounted inside a relocatable shipping container.
In addition to its efficient performance, the smart grid solution also offers significant cost benefits including potential savings on land usage due to the small footprint along with savings on civil works as the equipment is delivered to the site as a pre-tested complete solution.
ABB in Australia plans to export the STATCOM PCS 100 smart grid solutions to the rest of the world.