The TWENTIES wind energy project was launched by the EU

The European Union presented the project, which aims to roll out new technologies to increase the development of wind energy and, especially, its improved integration into the electrical system.

TWENTIES, which will run for three years with a budget of 62 million euros (32 of which are directly provided by the EU), is one of the most ambitious projects presented within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for technological research and development (2007-2013).

The 26 electricity companies and research institutions involved come from 10 Member States (including Italy’s ENEA) and are coordinated by Spanish transmission system Red Eléctrica de España.

TWENTIES aims at demonstrating – by carrying out 6 experimental plants – that rolling out new technologies will eliminate current barriers to integrating more wind energy (both onshore and offshore wind farm) into the system.

One of the most significant projects will be developed by Iberdrola Renovables, which will integrate over 200 wind turbines – for a total capacity of 500 MW – into the Spanish electricity grid, using a new controlling frequency and voltage system.

Also, a demonstration by Danish company Dong Energy will aim at demonstrating how the system’s efficiency and safety can also be improved merely by creating a favourable regulatory framework.

On the other hand, Belgian-based Elia study how to improve the flexibility of the transmission grid, mainly by developing controlling systems that will eliminate system instability caused by the integration of large-scale wind farms.

Another demonstration aimed at ensuring and improving safety security – for offshore wind generation, in this case – will come from RTE (the French transmission system operator), which will experiment new mechanisms of critical control and protection to roll out a high voltage direct current.

Finally, Danish Energinet will look at integrating offshore wind power with hydroelectric and marine power in the Baltic area, in order to balance generation from different sources during extreme weather events.