Siemens Energy begins construction of UK grid stabilization project

Work to construct one of the UK’s first grid stabilization facilities has been started by Siemens Energy, who has been appointed to design, manufacture, install and commission the new site in South Wales, UK, on behalf of independent power developer, Welsh Power.

The technology, which consists of a synchronous condenser and flywheel provides inertia to strengthen the grid, short circuit power to ensure a reliable operation, and reactive power for voltage control.

Such technology is needed due to changes in the UK’s electricity system, which has seen a reduction in the number of large spinning generators, historically fossil-fueled power stations, connected to the grid, as the system moves towards renewable power.

Through the addition of a synchronous condenser, grid stability can be provided, without any power being generated, ultimately meaning more renewable power can be used on the network.

In addition to providing the grid stabilization technology, Siemens Energy will also provide control and operating systems, the cooling system and auxiliary equipment as well as connecting the site to the grid, with a 132kV step up transformer equipped as Sensformer unit. Fitted with connectivity and intelligence the Sensformer offers access to real-time digital data for optimized operation.

Siemens Energy will use local contractors and specialists during construction and commenced civil works to ready the site in September 2020.

Once operational, the facility will be able to provide approximately one per cent of the inertia needed to operate National Grid securely, with zero emissions, within 15 minutes of an instruction.

Welsh Power was awarded a contract to provide stability services to National Grid Energy System Operator earlier this year and expects the new plant to be operational by autumn 2021.