Project allows mid-Atlantic island to boost wind capacity, incorporate renewable energy and maintain the stability of grid
automation technology group and a key developer of power grid solutions, has
delivered and commissioned a microgrid control solution that enables the
island of Faial in the Atlantic ocean to add more wind energy to its power
mix without destabilizing the network.
Faial is one of nine volcanic islands in the Azores, a Portuguese
archipelago located midway between Europe and North America, about 1,500
kilometers from the mainland. The island of 15,000 inhabitants has an
electricity network which operates as a self-contained microgrid, powered by
six oil-fired generators that produce up to 17 megawatts (MW) of electric
The local power utility, Electricidade dos Açores (EDA) has installed five
wind turbines as part of its efforts to boost capacity by more than 25
percent and minimize environmental impact on Faial, where tourism is an
important industry. Faial is also known as the 'Blue' island, due to the
countless hydrangea hedges that bloom in summer.
"ABB's technology will facilitate the control and monitoring of all the wind
turbines and oil-fired generators on the island," said Claudio Facchin, head
of ABB's Power Systems division. "This is an important function as the
intermittency associated with wind energy can cause frequency and voltage
fluctuations that can destabilize the microgrid, and in extreme cases even
lead to power disruptions and blackouts."
The control solution, a flagship technology of the recent Powercorp
acquisition, will calculate the most economical configuration, ensure
balance between supply and demand, maximize the integration of wind energy
and optimize the generators so that the entire system performs at peak
potential. The integration of wind energy combined with ABB's innovative
solution will save an estimated 3.5 million liters of fuel per year enough
for a car to travel about 2,300 times around the world. This has the
potential to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by around 9,400 tons.
ABB has previously delivered solutions to integrate renewable energy into
the diesel-based power systems of the Azorean islands of Flores and
Graciosa, enabling fuel savings and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that
enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while
lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around
100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.