Tórshavn, Faroe Islands — (METERING.COM) — November 29, 2012 – DONG Energy and Faroese energy supplier SEV have launched a smart grid system at Tórshavnon the Faroe Islands aimed at demonstrating stabilization of the power supply with the introduction of a high proportion of wind power.
The system utilizes DONG Energy’s virtual power plant, Power Hub, to offer fast frequency demand response (FFDR) to help stabilize the Faroese electricity system. In operation, Power Hub monitors the operational state and load of the generation units and is able to initiate a rapid load curtailment and/or load shedding via decoupling of either industrial loads based on bilateral contracts or load on the MV feeder level.
Currently about 60 percent of the Faroese energy supply is from diesel generation, with most of the rest hydropower. However, new wind turbines being installed will increase wind power to 24 percent of the islands’ power production within the next two years.
The Faroe Islands are a group of 18 islands with a 50,000 strong population situated between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea, approximately halfway between western Norway and Iceland. The Faroese power system is a true island power system, with no interconnectors to other power systems, and demand varies from a nighttime low around 15 MW up to around 45 MW during winter afternoons.
Because of the operability challenges of a small power system and the harsh weather conditions, outages are common, averaging around 30 per year, including one or more total blackouts.
The expected benefits of the FFDR system are an increase in the security of power supply on the islands, a decrease in the cost and pollution of running fossil power plants to provide inertia, and a decrease in the size of the needed battery solution with the new wind turbines.
Power Hub has been developed as a part of the EU supported Twenties project, which is aimed at demonstrating the benefits and impacts of several critical technologies in integrating an increasing share of renewables in the energy mix.
In the first demonstrations just three industrial customers participated, but SEV expects that with more flexinble industrial loads it should be possible to have up to half of the largest production unit placed in the Power Hub system.
SEV also plans to incorporate in Power Hub the available emergency gensets around the islands to support rapid post-fault power recovery.