Terna, Italian transmission system operator has ordered two static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) systems for grid stabilisation from Siemens Energy. This will help the country meet new power grid challenges posed by the energy transition.
The two new STATCOM systems, part of Siemens Energy’s SVC PLUS series, will be built in Villanova (Abruzzo region) and Latina (Lazio region). They will be delivered as an innovative space-saving containerized solution. It also reduces project execution time and effort by avoiding building approval procedures. Earlier, Terna ordered two synchronous condenser plants that are now under construction in Fano and recently in Rosara (both Marche region).
Also, integrating a higher share of renewable energy into power systems and the increasing energy demand pose challenges to grid operators. In particular, wind and solar are characterised by high degrees of volatility and intermittency. The first synchronous condenser in Fano is planned to be commissioned at the end of 2021. Second is in Rosara in October 2022. The two STATCOM systems will be commissioned in June 2022.
STATCOM systems will stabilise voltage fluctuations by acting as either a source or sink of reactive power depending on the requirements of the Italian grid. They will significantly reduce the risk of voltage drops and blackouts.
In addition to reactive power, the synchronous condensers will also provide short circuit power and inertia. Both are urgently needed to compensate for conventional power plants. The synchronous condenser solution uses a conventional generator to provide the short circuit contribution. Also, enlarges the necessary inertia by coupling a loss optimised flywheel to the rotating mass of the rotor. In this way, they help stabilise network frequency.
“Grid operators like Terna have the tremendously important roles of reconverting and redesigning the electricity infrastructure to meet decarbonisation targets without compromising grid stability and reliability” said Beatrix Natter, Executive Vice President Transmission at Siemens Energy. “Our state-of-the-art grid stabilisation technologies will help Terna to manage the growing complexity of the electricity system and offer an efficient, secure, and sustainable Italian grid.”