A revolutionary mobile power flow control unit which can significantly increase the amount of renewable energy that electricity grids can accommodate, was showcased in Dublin.
Smart Wires® mobile unit leverages modular power flow control technology developed by pioneering power technology company, Smart Wires, whose European headquarters are based in Ballyfermot, Dublin.
The mobile unit, which is the size of a semi-trailer, is traveling from the USA to Greece’s Peloponnese region, where it will be deployed on the Greek Transmission System.
It heralds a new era in the use of renewable energy and the fight against climate change – allowing utilities to quickly connect renewables without needing to complete major grid reinforcements.
In Greece, this unit will allow 52 megawatts of previously constrained renewable generation to fully access the market. After several months in Greece, the unit will move to the Bulgarian transmission system in 2020, where it will be leveraged to increase cross-border transfers.
Smart Wires’ technology is gaining significant global attention in the energy industry – it enables utilities to control where power flows on their networks, which means they can now integrate renewables more efficiently and at a lower cost to consumers.
“Our power flow technology is a game changer in the energy industry,” said Smart Wires Managing Director – Europe, Michael Walsh.
“By enabling electricity companies to route power around their existing grid, it’s reducing the need for new lines, and allowing for significantly more renewable energy to enter the grid,” he said.
“Importantly, it can be delivered in months and installed in hours, allowing grid companies to respond much faster to the needs of generators, customers and communities.”
“Power flow control is not new, but Smart Wires innovative technology provides the industry with an incredibly flexible and high-impact solution, which ultimately delivers a faster, cheaper and better way to plan and operate power systems,” he said.
The installation of Smart Wires mobile power flow control on the Greek and Bulgarian transmission systems is part of a Horizon 2020 consortium called FLEXITRANSTORE. Funded by the EU Commission, FLEXITRANSTORE demonstrates a variety of smart grid technologies, control methods, energy storage and new market approaches which will introduce flexibility to the European power system, increasing renewable penetration and improving cross-border flows.
This particular mobile unit can be installed very quickly – once the site is prepared, the unit can be connected to the grid in less than one day. As it is a mobile unit, it is fully redeployable and can be reused many times within a given grid.
Utilities around the world are exploring ways to leverage this device – often for challenges like resolving seasonal congestion, extending outage windows to help complete critical construction projects or serving as a bridge-solution while a delayed long-term fix comes into service.
“The success of recent projects is starting to change the way grid operators across the world think about integrating renewable generation,” said Mr Walsh.
“We are now working with utilities across the globe, from the US to Australia and throughout Europe, to help them revolutionize their existing grid systems.”