Microgrid stabilisation system to boost renewable energy use in Kenya

Monday, 07 September, 2015 | Supplied by: ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Microgrid stabilisation system to boost renewable energy use in Kenya

Power and automation technology company ABB has won an order from Socabelec East Africa to design, supply and install a PowerStore flywheel-based microgrid stabilisation solution for the Marsabit wind farm in northern Kenya. The technology is being developed by ABB’s Microgrid and Renewable Energy Integration team, based in Darwin.

Marsabit sits on the edge of the desert in a windy area of northern Kenya, and is not connected to any national grid for its power needs. Being a remote community of 5000 people served by an isolated microgrid, it requires a secure, stable power supply based on easily available and preferably clean sources, like wind. Today’s electricity supply for the area relies on diesel generators and two 275 kW wind turbines.

ABB’s containerised, 500 kW PowerStore stabilisation system will be integrated into the existing power network and will interface with existing diesel power station controls. This will maximise renewable energy penetration by stabilising the grid connection and utilising any excess wind energy generated. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

ABB PowerStore is a compact and versatile generator whose primary purpose is to stabilise and protect power systems against fluctuations in frequency and voltage. The flywheel-based system can inject or absorb power up to its nominal rating and helps to integrate intermittent renewable energy into a grid, so users can operate their hybrid plants in an optimal way. The system has been successfully deployed, often in harsh and remote environments, in locations all around the world.

“Sustainable development of Africa and fostering microgrid solutions are both key focus areas in ABB’s Next Level strategy, and dedicated 1000-day programs have been constituted for them,” said Claudio Facchin, president, Power Systems division. “Our microgrid technology solutions can significantly boost renewable integration and can play a key role in helping isolated and remote communities to gain access to clean electricity as in this case.”

Kenya plans to quadruple its energy output in the next five years, bringing on board an additional 5000 MW of power capacity with the aim of providing the majority of its approximately 50 million citizens access to electricity by 2020. The country’s renewable energy sector is among the most active in Africa.

Online: www.abbaustralia.com.au
Phone: 1800 602 020
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