Salzbergen, Germany [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] As a result of newly emerging standards for increased grid reliability in Spain, Iberdrola Renovables has selected GE Energy’s grid integration technology to upgrade its GE 1.5-megawatt (MW) turbines at wind farms in the Castilla La Mancha, Murcia and Rioja regions of Spain.
GE Energy will equip 290 GE 1.5-MW wind turbines in the three regions with new GE frequency converters incorporating the company’s low voltage ride-thru (LVRT) technology, which allows uninterrupted wind turbine operation through many types of grid disturbances.
“Spanish utilities have increased their requirements for wind energy,” said Victor Abate, vice president-renewables for GE Energy. “Wind turbines without capabilities such as those provided by LVRT no longer qualify for special feed-in tariffs.”
In the past, wind turbines were designed to trip off-line in the event of major system disturbances such as lightning strikes, equipment failures or downed power lines. This loss of generation impacted grid system stability and in some cases led to cascaded tripping and loss of revenue for wind farm operators. Today, grid operators are requesting that wind farms ride through grid disturbances, remaining on-line to continue supporting the grid.
Iberdrola Renovables’ wind farms generate 7,608 MW of wind power worldwide and the company is currently building an additional 1,686 MW of wind power capacity. Earlier this year, Iberdrola Renovables announced that it would purchase 200 GE 1.5-MW wind turbines capable of generating 300 MW of power. Those turbines will be delivered in 2010.