The Brazilian power company, Renova Energia, gave the orders in the last quarter of 2010. ABB would handle the designing, engineering, supply, constructing and commissioning of the substations and also take care of the training of customer operators and maintenance staff.
The five turnkey 34.5/69 kV substations would also include 12 step-up power transformers with a rate of 33 mega volt ampere, medium voltage re closers, air and gas insulated switchgear and distribution transformers. It would also supply and install overhead transmission lines about 60 kms of 69 kV for connecting a 290 MW wind power unit to the national electricity grid that is now under construction in Bahia, which is a northeastern state. The project would be completed in 2013.
Traditionally Brazil has always depended on hydropower for the supply of electricity. The government is trying to promote wind energy through this project. Installation of 10 GW of wind energy is the aim of the Brazilian Wind Energy Association by 2020. Currently, the country has 600 MW of wind farm capacity and 450 MW under construction. ABB’s Power Systems Division Head, Peter Leupp, stated that the substations would help in integrating and transmitting the renewable wind energy for serving the region’s growing electricity requirements. They would also support and reinforce the reliability of the grid and protect power supplies.
Step up transformers would boost the voltage of the wind turbines and help to match the distribution grid, while the re closers are utilized to reduce the impact of faults, which develop due to integration of wind power to the grid, and avert leakages cascading through the network. The substations contain equipment that safeguards and controls the flow of electrical power and are also the major components in the power grid to transform voltage levels and help carry out the transmission and distribution of the generated electricity in an efficient manner.