T&D World Magazine

Acciona Energy Orders New Wind Turbine Low-Voltage Ride-Through Solution

American Superconductor Corp. has received an order worth more than $10 million from ACCIONA Energy, a division of ACCIONA SA, for its new Dynamic VAR Ride Through (D-VAR RT) solution. Building on AMSC's D-VAR platform, which provides critical dynamic reactive compensation required to connect many wind farms around the world to the power grid, the company's D-VAR RT product enables individual wind turbines to continue operating smoothly by "riding through" voltage disturbances on power grids that might otherwise interrupt their operation. The D-VAR RT product meets stringent grid interconnection requirements, including Spain's new Procedimiento de Operaci³n 12.3 requirement for both existing and new wind turbines.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, Spain was the world's third largest wind power market at the end of 2008 with an installed base of more than 16,000 MW. Disturbances such as momentary voltage dips can disconnect many wind turbines and cause instability on the transmission grid. Developed by Spain's transmission system operator Red Electrica de Espa±a (REE), P.O. 12.3 requires that wind turbines remain connected to the grid through such events.

After extensive field testing and operation by an AMSC-ACCIONA Energy team at a wind farm with one of Spain's most difficult climates, the D-VAR RT solution recently received official certification of compliance. ACCIONA Energy has initially ordered D-VAR RT solutions for an important amount of first-generation "squirrel-cage" wind turbines that are currently providing more than 250 MW of electricity in Spain to meet P.O. 12.3.

AMSC will deliver all of the D-VAR RT solutions covered under this contract to ACCIONA Energy over the next few months. The D-VAR RT solution can be installed inside or outside the tower of any wind turbine, enabling turbine manufacturers as well as wind farm developers, owners and operators to easily add the systems to new wind turbines or retrofit existing turbines. Using AMSC's PowerModule PM3000W wind turbine converter, this scalable solution is designed for a wide range of wind turbines with power ratings from 500 kW up to 10 MW. The powerful, cost-effective technology provides low- and high-voltage ride-through capabilities to keep wind turbines running through grid disturbances.

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