Polish demo for Japanese grid protection scheme

19 February 2020



Hitachi’s automated grid protection demonstration aims to support Poland’s aspirations for major renewables expansion.


A new automated grid protection system, Hitachi’s SPS (Special Protection Scheme), has now entered the operation demonstration phase in Poland. It is part of a smart grid demo project, sponsored by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which aims to facilitate expansion of renewables in Poland.

The project has been implemented by Hitachi, Ltd, Hitachi Chemical and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) in co- operation with Polish partners, Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne (PSE), ENERGA-OPERATOR (EOP) and ENERGA OZE (EOZE). The project was supported by Poland’s Ministry of State Assets (formerly the Ministry of Energy).

SPS is described as a “next-generation grid automation system” designed to prevent the overloading of transmission lines. The system enables optimal countermeasures to be taken, based on real-time network status, in response to accidents/faults on the power network. If a problem occurs, the SPS responds automatically (primarily curtailing wind automatically) to prevent overloads in the grid.

The demonstration will also examine how deployment of the SPS can enable an increase in the amount of capacity connected to the existing transmission lines, helping to optimise power infrastructure investments in Poland and supporting better integration of renewables.

In addition, Hitachi, Hitachi Chemical, and SMBC have been co-operating on financing schemes and business models for further development of the system and expansion of its use.

Renewables expansion

In accordance with EU targets, Poland is planning to increase its renewables installed capacity and since the north of Poland has good wind conditions, a large number of wind farms are planned to be constructed there. However, much of the country’s power infrastructure is outdated and the capacity of transmission lines limited, putting significant constraints on the introduction of further renewables. It is urgently necessary for the country to make the transition to an updated, improved and expanded power infrastructure urgently. Under these circumstances, the introduction of the SPS, protecting the power grid as a large number of renewable units are being added at the same time, while reducing the economic burden, can facilitate that transition.

Against this background, in March 2017, NEDO concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Energy on the SPS demonstration project. At the same time, Hitachi, Hitachi Chemical, and SMBC, the contractors chosen for the project, started work and carried out studies, subsequently designing, producing, transporting and installing equipment, in accordance with the schedule, in co- operation with PSE (Polish transmission system operator), EOP (distribution system operator located in northwestern Poland) and EOZE (power generation company in Northwestern Poland).

In co-operation with the Ministry of State Assets of the Republic of Poland, demonstration operation of the system started on 1 October 2019 and a ceremony celebrating the commencement of the operation of the SPS was held at the head office of PSE in early December 2019.

The technology deployed has been discussed in Japan by the Organization for Cross-regional Coordination of Transmission Operators (OCCTO).

Future plans

Another major piece of the SPS demonstration project underway in Poland, carried out by Hitachi and Hitachi Chemical in co- operation with EOZE, is construction work on a hybrid battery energy storage system. After completion, the hybrid battery system (comprising high-power lithium-ion battery and large capacity lead-acid battery), will be used in combination with the SPS to provide reserve capacity and enable further measures to eliminate overloads of transmission lines, further supporting integration of renewables in Poland.

Automated elimination of overload during grid accident. In co-operation with PSE and EOP, Hitachi is using the SPS (Special Protection Scheme) demonstration to help develop optimal countermeasures to prevent the overload of transmission lines that may occur during events affecting the power grid. Simulations are run that create the conditions for such accidents and also enable countermeasures to be examined. The SPS continuously performs analysis on the basis of information received from the grid and sends control signals automatically to prevent line overload
The SPS enables the capacity of existing transmission lines reserved for accident/ fault situations (emergency margin) to be reduced, allowing connection of more renewables to an existing transmission system than previously envisaged. TTC = total transfer capability


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