ABB technology to enhance grid stability and support renewable energy in Italy

ABB technology to enhance grid stability and support renewable energy in Italy

Voltage regulation solution will increase power quality and ensure stable, efficient and reliable energy transmission

ABB will supply a synchronous compensator solution to Terna, the Italian transmission system operator, for the Matera and Manfredonia substations along the southeast coast of the country, an area that now hosts several wind farms. A synchronous compensator is designed to quickly regulate the energy parameters of the transmission network, generate or absorb reactive energy, regulate the voltage and improve the energy factor.

Renewables are a growing part of the energy mix

More than 17 percent of Italy’s overall energy consumption was composed of renewables last year, and, in the electricity sector, renewables accounted for 34 percent of the total. The country has already surpassed its renewable energy target for 2020, with every town in the country able to claim at least one source of renewable energy.

However, the integration of various renewable energy sources such as wind and solar photovoltaic as well as increased industrial activities have affected the reliability of the electricity grid. The intermittent nature of renewable sources, coupled with the many challenges stressing the electrical infrastructure, including an increase in demand, have necessitated a significant effort to mitigate disturbances.

A smart solution can tame energy variations

Terna has turned to the consortium of ABB and Ansaldo Energia for the supply of an advanced technology solution featuring three synchronous compensators of 250 MVAR each, two in Matera and one in Manfredonia. The consortium will also supply the entire electrical system to connect them to the network, including protection and control systems and monitoring and diagnostic solutions.  

The solution will quickly adjust power conditions in the transmission grid by either generating or absorbing reactive power as needed, regulating voltage and improving the power factor. It will also maintain system safety standards.

ABB will supply, install and commission the complete electrical system package to connect the synchronous compensators to the grid, including the protection and controls as well as the monitoring and diagnostic systems. The contract is part of a larger order awarded to ABB in partnership with Ansaldo Energia. A similar grid-stabilizing solution has also been installed by this consortium for Terna on the island of Sardinia.

"The solution was designed to increase the reliability, stability, efficiency and functional safety of the electrical system," said Patrick Fragman, Head of ABB's Grid Integration Business Unit, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. "It is another example of ABB technology enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.” 

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