Renewable Integration Solutions-No One Size Fits All

The unique technical and economical challenges of each renewable integration project must be considered when developing a solution.
Published: Wed 08 Jul 2015

Electric utilities of today are often faced with a shortage in skilled resources which often results in poor decision-making and very little innovation when it comes to creating more cost effective solutions. This can lead to inefficient system planning which can have poor financial implications for the business.  

Appropriate skills are critical for project success

Cleverson Takiguchi, Business Development Director, Africa, S&C Electric Europe Ltd., who will be presenting in the upcoming webinar, S&C Consultancy and Analytical Services: Supporting  Lifetime Solutions for Renewable Integration, explains that it is for this reason that utilities should rely on a partner with skilled engineers at the earlier stages of the project, since this will save time and money. He says, “This will also eliminate instability issues on both the utility electric grid side, as well as the renewable generation and integration side. If the connection is not done properly, it is likely that issues may arise. Our solutions are developed to smooth out that connection.”

Creating individual and relevant solutions

One of the major challenges of renewable integration is the intermittent nature of renewable sources. The variability of the generation source creates unpredictability for planning of the electrical system. For instance, because solar only produces electricity while the sun shines, the paradigm of a dispatchable energy supply reservoir is different to what the utilities are accustomed to. All this makes renewable power, despite often being abundant, unreliable from the utility’s point of view.

Utilities often find themselves attempting to compensate for the change in voltage due to this intermittency, which can be a challenge in itself.

Mr. Takiguchi points out that because each system is different and presents its own unique set of challenges, appropriate technical and economical solutions should be developed for each utility, thereby meeting the specific needs of each system.

Drawing on global experience

During the webinar, Mr Takiguchi will be expanding on some insights with regards to the various challenges experienced globally in renewable connection and will discuss how S&C Electric has developed solutions based on their wide ranging global experience in assisting utilities and renewable developers across the different markets.

Mr. Takiguchi says that he will be explaining how S&C Electric draws on its many years of experience in the design and manufacture of high-voltage electrical equipment. The company also prides itself in delivering high-quality products and services that will provide long service life, and hence the greatest lifetime value, in the most challenging environments. The company also works strategically at the regulator level by taking into consideration the grid connection rules. For instance, the firm has been heavily involved in the preparation of the UK national grid code. S&C provided all the necessary network studies to guarantee that the system meets National Grid's Grid Code requirements. This is essential as unless new renewable energy sources comply with the Grid Code, energy plants cannot be linked to the grid and therefore cannot deliver or sell the energy generated. “By applying this knowledge, we are able to assist both developers and utilities in all aspects, especially at the preliminary stage.”

Mr. Takiguchi will be providing a few real examples in the US and South Africa, for instance of how S&C Electric helps utilities and renewable developers to find the best lifetime solution to protect their investments and system reliability.

The webinar is targeted at senior management of utilities and renewables developers.