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Scottish wind farm re-energises electricity grid

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is claiming a global first – using energy from a 69 MW onshore windfarm to re-energise part of the power grid. The success of the project, at Dersalloch wind farm in South Ayrshire, proves that wind power can restore a ‘blacked-out’ section of the transmission network, says SPR. 

‘Black start’ restoration – the procedure used to restore power in the event of a total or partial shutdown of the electricity transmission system – is often reliant on traditional fossil fuels such as coal and gas. So, using renewables to do this is both an extraordinary achievement and a demonstration with potential to transform how power could be restored to the network. 

The project saw Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) deploy the latest technology at the wind farm. SPR and SGRE worked in collaboration with SP Energy Networks (SPEN) when it was time to interact with the grid. 

It used ‘grid-forming’ technology, virtual synchronous machines (VSM), to regulate the frequency and voltage of the power from the turbines – essentially forming a stable network island to keep the electricity system stable and balanced. The same technology was then used to integrate that supply with the grid and restore the part of the system that had been blacked out.

The project received £550,000 in funding from the Scottish government under its Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme. 
Lindsay McQuade, CEO of SPR said: ‘What we’ve achieved at Dersalloch is truly world-leading and highlights the crucial role renewables will play in creating a decarbonised modern, smart electricity system. It’s no longer just about the raw power we generate, but the interplay of renewable generation and its characteristics with the overall grid system and its requirements for when power is needed and used.’

‘As wind is now the cheapest form of electricity generation, innovating our wind farms to be responsive zero carbon power stations that enhance the network, improve system resilience and help deliver the cleaner and greener future needed to achieve net zero makes sense,’ added McQuade.

News Item details


Journal title: Energy World

Countries: Scotland -

Organisation: ScottishPower Renewables

Subjects: Wind power - Onshore wind power - Renewables -

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