Eandis installs first smart wind turbines on the electricity grid
Last spring, Wind aan de Stroom began the construction of Belgium’s biggest onshore wind farm in the port of Antwerp on the Scheldt's left bank. Project company Wind aan de Stroom was established to make the development of wind power on the Scheldt's left bank possible, and engaged Siemens for the construction. A total of 15 wind turbines with a capacity of 3 megawatt each are planned for the end of September. These include ‘smart turbines’ controlled by network signals from Eandis within the scope of a research project concerning smart grids.
Advanced techniques enable Eandis to connect the wind turbines to the existing electricity grid. As a result, less expensive and time-consuming investments in the grid are required, e.g. in cables and transformers. In addition, the smart power management system ensures that the wind turbines can inject as much green power into the grid as possible at any time, even in case of an Eandis or Elia grid failure.
Eandis permanently measures the current, voltage and – in certain parts – temperature in the cables by means of a new grid management system that was put into service last spring. This way, they actively ensure that the cables’ physical limit is not exceeded. If an abnormal situation arises in which there is a risk of overloading, Eandis sends a signal to turn the blades out of the wind or to ensure a bigger consumption by nearby companies. This process takes place automatically, without any human intervention.
Smart demand-side management at Luik Natie Coldstore
The first smart wind turbine is located on the premises of Luik Natie Coldstore and has been put into service today. It will help ensure that a lot of green power is made available to companies in the area. Luik Natie Coldstore went one step further by adjusting its electricity consumption to the availability of wind power. Thanks to the smart control systems of the refrigeration compressors, Luik Natie Coldstore is able to make optimal use of green electricity.
The smart control systems of Luik Natie Coldstore combine weather forecasts with data from Eandis on the wind energy production in the area to decide when it is best to refrigerate the deepfreeze warehouses. If large quantities of cheap wind power are available, the deepfreeze warehouses can be cooled at lower temperatures (e.g. up to -25°C instead of -21°C). If there is less wind afterwards, refrigeration can be suspended until an acceptable temperature rise has been reached. This allows the company to save up to 40% on their electricity bill.
The smart energy project helps Luik Natie Coldstore to grow. An important objective of the investment plan is to double the number of deepfreeze warehouses by the second half of 2016. In the process, 25 additional staff members will be hired. Smart energy management also opens up new perspectives. For instance, the company plans smart connection stations for deepfreeze containers, which otherwise would have to be cooled by means of built-in generators.
‘The first smart wind turbine clearly demonstrates the added value of our smart energy grids, which we worked hard on over the past years’, says Walter Van den Bossche, CEO of Eandis. ‘For instance, last spring Eandis implemented a new grid management system from where we can centrally monitor and control our entire medium-voltage grid, which consists of 227 transformer stations and 780 control stations. This is unique in Europe. It is a cornerstone for the development of smart energy techniques crucial to tomorrow’s energy infrastructure.’
‘Deepfreeze warehouses use a lot of power,’ says Stefaan Verhelst, CEO of Luik Natie. ‘The smart wind turbines inspired us together with our refrigeration installer to look for smart energy techniques. Our energy supplier EDF Luminus also took an active part in the reflection. We have thus been able to reduce our energy cost from 25 to 10% of our total operational costs. And we will use these additional financial resources to extend our capacity considerably and hire extra staff.’
More info? Go to the Eandis webpage on smart grids:
www.eandis.be > About Eandis > The company > New developments > Smart meters
Pictures? View them in the Eandis press room (www.eandis.be/pers)
Eandis – Simon Van Wijmeersch
0476 30 10 34
Wind aan de Stroom – Giovanni Vercammen
0473 58 32 78
Luik Natie – Pascal Gybels
0477 321 706
Elia – Kathleen Iwens
0478 66 45 55
Siemens - Stéphanie Legay
0475 63 53 90
EDF Luminus – Nico De Bie
0474 88 36 48