Closure of the diesel fuel generation plant in the Faroe Islands could affect the stability of the electricity grid – Awdhesh







To ensure the stability of the electricity grid in the Faroe Islands, ABB synchronous condensers will be implemented to provide the necessary inertia to keep the grid in this archipelago of Denmark in balance. The first unit is being commissioned on the island of Suðuroy.

Santiago de Chile.- ABB is working with SEV, the leading power producer and distributor for the Faroe Islands, to deliver innovative synchronous condenser (SC) technology that will stabilize its power grid as renewable generation replaces fossil fuel plant. The first SC unit is currently being commissioned on the island of Suðuroy. SEV has now placed an order for a similar unit to be located at Sund on Streymoy, the largest and most populous island in the archipelago.

SEV has an ambitious goal for the isolated Faroe archipelago in the North Atlantic to become the greenest group of islands in the world. By 2030, it will generate 100 percent green electricity from hydro, solar and wind power and potentially tidal currents. As well as being a major climate change initiative, this will bring economic benefits as the Faroe Islands will no longer be dependent on expensive fossil fuel imports.

Closing the existing diesel fuel generation plant could affect the stability of the SEV network. This is because rotating equipment provides vital “rotating inertia” that keeps the system in balance. One particular challenge is that there are no power cables connecting the Faroe Islands to neighboring countries, so their network cannot use external support.

To meet this challenge, ABB is working with SEV to offer innovative technology in the form of synchronous capacitors. An SC is a rotating electrical machine that provides vital services to strengthen a power system and keep it stable as both loads and renewable energy production change. These services include inertia, fault level, and reactive power for voltage regulation.

“We want to harness our sustainable natural energy resources so that we can stop using oil,” says Magnus Rasmussen, the Faroese Minister for the Environment, Industry and Trade. “This will enable us to future-proof our energy supply both onshore and offshore.”

“There is a growing need for networks to be supported by decentralized solutions that ensure network stability and resiliency. Synchronous capacitors can play a vital role in strengthening weak networks, especially in remote areas,” says Heikki Vepsäläinen, President of ABB’s Large Motors and Generators Division. “Our expectation is that grid operators around the world will adopt SC in ever-increasing numbers as the urgency to decarbonize electricity production continues to gain momentum.”

SC’s first installation is at the 8 megavolt-ampere (MVA) Porkeri wind farm on Suðuroy, an electrically isolated island in the south of the archipelago. This unit, manufactured by ABB in Sweden, is currently undergoing testing and will be fully operational in the first half of 2022. Together with battery energy storage, the SC could allow, in good wind conditions, that 100 percent percent of the island’s demand is satisfied with wind power

The second SC will be installed in Sund, near Tórshavn, the Faroese capital on the island of Streymoy and its commissioning is scheduled for 2023

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