TransGrid and Smart Wires trialling real time power flow control and monitoring on NSW transmission network

TransGrid and Smart Wires have finalised a partnership to deploy advanced power flow control solutions on the New South Wales transmission grid.  TransGrid crews finalised an installation of the Smart Wires PowerLine Guardian on the 132 kV system near Yass, in southern New South Wales. This installation marks the first deployment of Smart Wires technology in Australia.

“We see considerable potential to use innovative technology across our system as we manage the changing generation portfolio in Australia and optimally integrate large quantities of renewable resources,” said Gerard Reiter, TransGrid’s Executive General Manager of Asset Management. “We are always interested in finding new ways to maximise the use of the New South Wales transmission network, and we’re looking forward to working with Smart Wires in this trial.”
The PowerLine Guardian devices that have been installed as part of the trial belong to Smart Wires’ Guardian family of products.  These devices can be dispatched in real time to act as “valves” on a transmission line, pushing power to underutilised paths in the network by injecting inductive reactance.  While TransGrid’s units are mounted directly on the conductor, Smart Wires has also developed larger, more powerful Guardian devices that can be installed on structures or within bank arrays, in a substation for example.  Together with Smart Wires’ SmartValve devices, which can push or pull power, this modular technology enables the operator to actively control the way power flows on the transmission system and allows increased utilization of existing grid infrastructure.  The devices can be rapidly deployed on the system and can be easily relocated elsewhere in the network should system needs change.

With the first Smart Wires installation in Australia, TransGrid will be uniquely positioned to demonstrate the impact of Smart Wires solutions in a rapidly evolving market. “Australia is undergoing a massive energy transformation and one that is arguably faster than those seen in other developed markets such as the United States or Europe,” said Smart Wires Vice President of Asia Pacific, Yves Meyer.  “TransGrid is actively reshaping its business as one of Australia’s leading TNSPs.  We look forward to continuing to work with TransGrid to optimise its transmission system and deliver innovative solutions for its customers.”

TransGrid and Smart Wires are currently studying several opportunities to implement Smart Wires solutions elsewhere on the transmission network.  “Modular power flow control has the potential to be an important part of our toolkit when it comes to transmission development.  We’re excited to take part in this project and explore additional applications on our network,” said Andrew Kingsmill, TransGrid’s Manager of Network Planning.