Digital grid technology and services provider Smart Wires has developed new software tools to help grid operators create additional capacity for increasing renewable energy, following a two-year project with EirGrid.
Smart Wires said the new tools enable system operators to optimise settings of power flow control devices across the grid, helping create capacity for the increasing volume of renewable energy and wide-scale electrification.
The advanced decision support tools were developed as part of a two-year project supported under the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland National Energy Research’s Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2019.
According to Smart Wires, the tools, which assist in close to day-head and real-time analysts and decision support, will allow system operators achieve smarter and more automated grid operations.
The platform-agnostic prototypes were tested in collaboration with the US-based non-profit research organisation Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Irish system operator EirGrid and a host of other transmission system operators (TSOs) from around the world, gathering industry feedback in the process.
EirGrid chief executive, Mark Foley, said: “At EirGrid, we need to make the grid stronger and more flexible so it’s ready to carry up to 80% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.”
“Cutting-edge tools like these, support optimal use of the electricity grid by enabling control centre operators to better use the technology available.”
By combining the automated tools with power flow devices, TSOs will be able to solve bottlenecks and grid capacity issues, said Smart Wires.
Using digital devices such as Smart Wire’s SmartValue, to provide the power control, continued the company, also allows TSOs to improve transient and voltage stability, enabling the grid to support high levels of intermittent renewable energy.
“This project has been a great opportunity to collaborate closely with EirGrid and other leading system operators who are embracing the potential of grid enhancing technologies to create a digital, secure and accessible grid,” said Smart Wires CEO Peter Wells.
“We’re seeing strong momentum globally in the uptake of these technologies to unlock the full potential of today’s grids, and tools like this further support this movement”.