First pilot project for smart grid system in Faroe Islands
By Marie-Martine Buckens | Friday 23 November 2012
The first smart grid system was launched in Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands, on 22 November, by the Danish energy company DONG Energy and its Faroese partner SEV. This virtual power plant allows for the regulation of the electricity flow on networks and to avoid breakdowns and systemic blackouts. The system was developed using EU co-financing within the framework of the 7th Framework Programme for research and development (FP7).
Smart grid systems will occupy a crucial position in the future management of European electricity networks, which will increasingly rely on electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power. However, the intermittent nature of energy production from these sources could potentially cause an imbalance in the power supply, even blackouts. The virtual power plant Power Hub will therefore be used to re-balance the island’s power system by automatically decoupling large industrial units, in less than a second, from the main power system, thereby avoiding blackouts. It should allow for the secure integration of the five-fold increase in wind generation expected over the next two years, explained Evert den Boer, vice-president of sales at DONG Energy.
Power Hub was developed by DONG Energy in collaboration with Energinet.dk, Frauenhofer IWES and Red Eléctrica de Espana, and is being used as a demonstration platform within the scope of the TWENTIES project, financed by FP7. This project, the most important in the energy sector, has a total budget of €56.8 million. The EU’s contribution is almost €32 million.