ABB (NYSE: ABB), the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $55 million to supply three new substations and transmission infrastructure for the Brazilian utility Eolicas do Sul. The order was booked in the second quarter.
Brazil has traditionally relied heavily on hydropower for its electricity supply. This project is part of the government’s efforts to increase the share of wind power as part of its renewable energy portfolio. Brazil has added significant wind power in the past few years and currently has over 1500 megawatts (MW) of installed wind capacity with another 7000 MW in the pipeline over the next five years.
Brazil is the largest consumer of electricity in Latin America – using twice as much as its neighbors Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The country’s installed capacity is just over 100,000 MW, which is comparable to Italy or the United Kingdom.
Brazil will continue with its industrial and macroeconomic growth ambitions supported by a population that is expected to reach around 220 million by 2020. These trends will drive demand for electricity to an expected generation capacity requirement of around 150,000 MW by 2020. In addition, the country will require substantial investment in infrastructure, including additions to transmission and distribution networks, to connect remote renewables and transport power efficiently across an expansive geography.
“These substations will help to integrate wind energy and boost power supplies to meet growing industrial, commercial and residential demand,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “They will also reinforce the transmission grid and help improve reliability, efficiency and power quality.”
ABB will design, supply, install and commission the substations in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, bordering Uruguay. The project scope includes two turnkey 34.5/138 kilovolt (kV) substations, one 138/500 kV substation, step-up power transformers and air- and gas-insulated switchgear. ABB will also supply supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and telecommunication systems as well as IEC 61850 compliant substation automation, control and protection equipment. Step-up transformers will increase the voltage of wind-generated power for integration into the transmission grid.
ABB will also supply and install two 138 kV overhead transmission lines to connect a new 400 MW wind power plant, one of the largest in the country, to the national electricity grid. The project is scheduled for completion by 2014. Substations are key installations in the power grid that transform voltage levels and facilitate the safe and efficient transmission and distribution of electricity. They include equipment that protects and controls the flow of electric power. ABB is the world’s leading supplier of turnkey air-insulated, gas-insulated and hybrid substations with voltage levels up to 1,100 kV.