Synchronous condensers to enhance grid stability in Ireland, Finland and Scotland23 November 2023
Siemens Energy is delivering a hybrid grid stabilisation system – consisting of synchronous condenser (with flywheel) plus 160 MWh battery – to Shannonbridge B in Ireland. According to Siemens “this is the first time these two technologies have been combined into one, single grid connection”, with the aim of stabilising the grid and helping to make better use of renewables.
Above: Siemens Energy synchronous condenser
The project is a collaboration between Hanwha and Irish developer Lumcloon Energy.
As well as the synchronous condenser, including the flywheel which will deliver around 4000 MWs of inertia, the Siemens Energy scope includes the battery energy storage system (which employs Chinese made batteries) as well as power conversion systems, energy management system and medium voltage equipment. The order will generate around
85 million Euros for Siemens Energy and work has already begun on site.
The current market regime in Ireland allows sale of services such as inertia, short circuit power and reactive power, as provided by synchronous condenser technology, to the transmission system operator, EirGrid. To support this, Siemens Energy will also provide an energy management system allowing the owner/operator of Shannonbridge B to respond to market demands and power needs in real-time.
Meanwhile, Valmet is providing a DNA automation system to Fingrid’s Jylkka¨ substation in Kalajoki, as part of Destia’s turnkey delivery of Finland’s first synchronous condenser. The automation system will be taken over by the end customer, Fingrid, in March 2025, Valmet reports. It will be connected to Fingrid’s main control room, from which Finland’s electricity transmission system is operated.
Finland’s first synchronous condenser, which will employ GE Vernova technology, will help Fingrid improve grid reliability on the west coast, where a lot of wind power is produced.
“Finland’s west coast contains one of the country’s main concentrations of wind power production, and it is growing faster
than all forecasts,” says Timo Kiiveri, senior vice president, Fingrid. “A wind power hub is emerging in Ostrobothnia to rival the combined output of the Olkiluoto and Loviisa nuclear power plants. The large amount of wind power in the area presents a challenge for the power system. One of the solutions to address this is the synchronous condenser.”
In the UK, Ingeteam has been awarded a contract for the supply of four synchronous condensers at two locations to help stabilise the grid.
The contract has been awarded by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners and its development partner Welsh Power as part of Phase 2 of NGESO’s Stability Pathfinder Project.
The machines will be installed at Thurso South and Neilston, with two Indarcom synchronous condensers to be installed at each location and connected to the Scottish transmission grid.
The Indarcom synchronous condensers will be manufactured by Ingeteam at its Beasain plant in Spain.
A consortium led by Ingeteam has been awarded the EPC contract for the new synchronous condenser installations and will be responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of both facilities.
This contract represents “a new benchmark for Ingeteam in the innovative field of transmission and distribution grid stability,” the company says, and notes that its synchronous condenser offerings meet “the detailed specifications for connection to the Spanish transmission grid, where this type of system is not currently installed.”