Entries by Roberto Castro

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) announces successful effort leveraging Modular FACTS

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) announces successful effort leveraging Modular FACTS

March 10, 2021

  • Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) sought to gain experience with this technology, which has broad economic and environmental benefits.
  • This technology plays an important role in the energy transformation by facilitating the connection of renewable generation.
  • With this work, EPM distinguishes itself as a leader in Latin America.

*Captions available in English

EPM innovates to serve their customers by investing in solutions that improve quality of life throughout their service territory. To fulfil this purpose, EPM announces its successful application of Modular FACTS (Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems). This places EPM at the forefront of the electricity sector in Latin America, as a pioneer in the adoption of this technology.

Modular FACTS manage the power flow on the grid as if it were the flow of water in a pipe. By moving power from heavily loaded lines to others with spare capacity, this technology optimizes the existing infrastructure. Global power technology company, Smart Wires, provides a Modular FACTS solution called SmartValveTM.

“SmartValve was recognized in 2020 by the World Economic Forum within the Critical Infrastructure category as one of the top three technologies playing a fundamental role in the energy transition of the last decade. SmartValve facilitates renewable generation connections by optimizing infrastructure and therefore received this acknowledgement due to the environmental and social benefits it provides,” said Mónica Ruiz Arbeláez, CEO of EPM.

EPM has been following Modular FACTS since 2005. In 2017, when the technology was broadly commercialized, EPM initiated efforts to explore the possibility of using SmartValve on its system within the Aburrá Valley Expansion Plan. This announcement marks the successful energization of SmartValves on EPM’s grid.

“We congratulate EPM for their vision and commitment to leverage innovation to benefit Medellin ratepayers and the broader Colombian electric sector,” reflected Peter Wells, Smart Wires CEO. “The EPM team has been, and continues to be, one of the best we have worked with around the world – both in terms of their technical capability and also with respect to their spirit of partnership to accomplish a common goal. EPM should be incredibly proud of their leadership in Colombia and more broadly in Latin America – leveraging innovation to eliminate congestion, help connect lower cost generation, and cost-effectively increase reliability, bringing incredibly value to Colombian ratepayers.”

Among the advantages of Modular FACTS are:

  1. By providing real-time flexibility and control, this technology improves system reliability and lowers operational costs.
  2. It limits the impact of infrastructure on urban areas and natural environments by deferring or avoiding the construction of new power transmission lines or the repowering of existing lines.
  3. It enables the connection of new renewable energy resources, ensuring the power they generate can reach electricity markets and demand centers.
  4. By optimizing existing infrastructure, this technology ensures EPM efficiently deploys capital and enables them to keep costs low for Colombian consumers.

The project results will be socialized with companies throughout the Colombian electricity sector including the Regulating Commission of Energy and Gas (CREG according to the initials in Spanish), the regulator, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the governmental entities in charge of planning the expansion and operation of the National Interconnected System (SIN). “Modular FACTS will allow us to technologically drive the development of the electricity sector in our country, and the successful results of this project will enable its use in Latin America,” said Mónica Ruiz Arbeláez, CEO of EPM.

Unlike traditional FACTS – which occupy large spaces in substations, require custom designs and are not easily relocatable – SmartValves offer a modular approach to investment. This means deployments can be scaled alongside changing system needs. SmartValves offer flexible installation footprints, saving valuable substation space, and can even be located on transmission towers or on mobile units. Since they are voltage-agnostic, SmartValves can easily be moved from their initial location as system needs evolve.

"Modular FACTS will allow us to technologically drive the development of the electricity sector in our country, and the successful results of this project will enable its use in Latin America,"

Mónica Ruiz Arbeláez

CEO of EPM

With this project, EPM cements its position as a leader and a pioneer in Latin America. By using innovative technologies that benefit their customers and the broader electricity sector, EPM is improving the quality of life for people throughout their service territory and making a positive impact on the global energy transition.

About EPM

EPM Group is a multi-Latin group with presence in six countries: Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Panama. The Organization, which serves more than 20 million people, provides water supply services, wastewater management, generation, distribution, commercialization and transmission of energy, natural gas commercialization, seawater purification and solid waste management.

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Unlocking the Queue with Grid-Enhancing Technologies

Unlocking the Queue with Grid-Enhancing Technologies

The Brattle Group quantified the impact that three Grid-Enhancing Technologies (GETs) can have on the grid. In Kansas and Oklahoma alone, these technologies can make room for 5,200 MW of wind and solar generation currently looking to connect before 2025. This is more than double the development possible without these technologies.

Publishing Entity

The Brattle Group

Increase transfer capacity, improve energy security, renewable integration, Modular FACTS

Slovenian Transmission System Operator ELES and Smart Wires to collaborate on technology synergies

Slovenian Transmission System Operator ELES and Smart Wires to collaborate on technology synergies

March 2, 2021

In a world-first, Slovenia’s Transmission System Operator, ELES, and power technology company, Smart Wires have announced a joint agreement which will see ELES’ dynamic line rating (DLR) technology combine with Smart Wires’ power flow control solution.

The two technologies offer compelling synergies. DLR can identify which lines have available capacity and power flow controllers can then intelligently route power to those lines.

Transmission system operators anticipate several operational constraints as they aim to deliver their long-term capital works. This collaboration will provide a technology that allows the transmission system operators to actively optimise network power flows and resolve these constraints. This will mean saving customers millions of euros and ensuring the delivery of major projects.

The companies anticipate a series of collaborative ventures on different sites. ELES’ part of the collaboration will be managed by its recently-launched member company Operato, focused solely on the implementation of SUMO DTR (dynamic thermal rating) technology. 

SUMO DTR technology cost efficiently monitors and predicts weather conditions along the whole line to calculate a transmission line’s real-time rating. By using SUMO DTR’s real-time ratings, transmission operators can use higher line ratings without endangering safety or reliability.

Since some circuits reach their maximum rating while others are well below their limits, balancing power flows can eliminate constraints and improve network transfers. Smart Wires’ SmartValveTM technology can push power off lines that are overloaded or pull power onto lines with spare capacity.

Unique from legacy forms of power flow control, SmartValve is a modular solution which means it is quick and flexible to install and easy to scale or relocate. SUMO is an advanced DTR system that requires no physical installation of sensors on the conductors.

According to ELES’ Director of Strategic Innovation, Uros Salobir: “combining these rapidly-installed and low environmental impact technologies is the next logical step in grid innovation as our industry solves problems that facilitate the energy transition.”

“ELES is proud to join forces with Smart Wires. Both companies have seen the strength in each other’s capabilities and have similar outlooks in terms of our commitment to innovation,” said ELES’ CEO, Aleksander Mervar.

Smart Wires’ Vice President, European Business Development, Mark Norton responded: “Smart Wires has followed ELES’ journey with great interest over the last few years.”

“ELES is proud to join forces with Smart Wires. Both companies have seen the strength in each other’s capabilities and have similar outlooks in terms of our commitment to innovation”

Aleksander Mervar

ELES’ CEO

“We recognized the extremely complimentary nature of DLR with our technology, and saw ELES’ unique strength, being both a transmission system operator and a developer of grid technology.

“Innovation is such a core tenet of both companies and we are thrilled to collaborate on these   pioneering projects,” Mr Norton said.

The projects are expected to commence in early 2021.

About ELES

ELES has the exclusive right to pursue a transmission system operator’s activity on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. Using a professional approach, knowledge, and advanced technology for over 90 years, the Company provides the safe, secure, and uninterrupted transmission of electricity throughout Slovenia and beyond its borders. ELES has become the first regulated energy company in Slovenia, which has placed its innovations activity at the forefront of its operations. With successful projects, organisation, and human resources, it allowed the highest possible level of further development in this area.

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S&P Global: Grid-Enhancing Technologies can Double Renewable Integration

National Grid’s transition to a clean energy future is moving forward with the installation of Smart Wires technology

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Smart Wires Appoints New CEO

Smart Wires Appoints New CEO

Peter Wells Joins Smart Wires as Chief Executive Officer

Jan 25, 2021

Smart Wires announced today that the Board of Directors has appointed renewable energy and power industry veteran Peter Wells as Chief Executive Officer of Smart Wires, effective today. Wells is also joining the Board of Directors of Smart Wires. 

Wells is an accomplished power industry executive, bringing more than three decades of global leadership experience in energy and renewable energy, spanning projects, products and services, and manufacturing. Wells joins Smart Wires from GE Renewable Energy, where he served as Chief Executive Officer, Onshore Wind for Europe and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) Region. During his tenure, GE went from sixth to third in the market, doubling its volume and market reach.

Prior to leading GE’s European onshore wind business, Wells was Senior Vice President and COO for Services and Projects for Vestas Americas. Wells joined Vestas in 2015 when Vestas acquired UpWind Solutions, which was the leading independent wind services business at the time. During his tenure as CEO of UpWind Solutions, Wells grew the business ten-fold to more than 3.5 GW of generating capacity under a long-term contract.

Tom Voss, Chairman of Smart Wires, said, “We are thrilled to have Peter Wells joining Smart Wires at this important time for the company. Smart Wires has built significant global momentum and is well positioned for continued growth with its SmartValve product line. Peter’s deep experience and relationships in the power industry, understanding of renewable energy drivers, customer needs, broad experience, and results make Peter the ideal leader for Smart Wires. In short, Peter is an incredibly skilled executive whose global power industry experience positions him well to lead Smart Wires through our next phase of growth.”

“Smart Wires has a compelling product, and clear strategy within a rapidly growing market and a phenomenal team focused on serving our customers to enable them to create the highly efficient grids the world needs. I am personally and professionally committed to this vision and look forward to working with our customers and the entire team to help facilitate the global energy transition.”

Peter Wells

Chief Executive Officer

Wells said, “I am excited to be joining Smart Wires at this important juncture in the company’s growth, and by the tremendous opportunity in front of the company. I have spent a large part of my career in renewable energy, and the transmission capacity constraints of our aging electric grids globally is a key bottleneck we must unlock to achieve rapid, widespread decarbonization. The potential for impact is larger here than anywhere else in the electric sector.”

Wells continued, “Smart Wires has a compelling product, and clear strategy within a rapidly growing market and a phenomenal team focused on serving our customers to enable them to create the highly efficient grids the world needs. I am personally and professionally committed to this vision and look forward to working with our customers and the entire team to help facilitate the global energy transition.”

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ESIG: Near-term Strategies to Accelerate the Energy System Transition

National Grid’s transition to a clean energy future is moving forward with the installation of Smart Wires technology

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National Grid’s Transition to a Clean Energy Future is Moving Forward

National Grid’s transition to a clean energy future is moving forward with the installation of Smart Wires technology

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