A significant new project to provide vital inertia across the UK’s electricity grid has gone live at the Lister Drive Greener Grid Park in Liverpool

Featuring two ABB synchronous condensers, the facility is designed to replicate the inertia currently provided by spinning turbines at coal and gas-fired plants. This inertia is essential for maintaining the correct frequency and voltage across electricity grids, so an alternative source must be installed as thermal generation is replaced by wind and solar, which provide no inertia.

    Developed for Norwegian renewable energy firm Statkraft, Lister Drive is the first project anywhere in the world to feature a high-inertia configuration that couples a synchronous condenser with a 40-tonne flywheel. According to ABB, this approach increases the instantaneously available inertia by 3.5 times, ensuring the network frequency and voltage are held stable within the tight limits essential to maintain grid reliability.

    “Decarbonisation of power generation is a vital element in the world’s journey to net zero,” said Heikki Vepsäläinen, division president of ABB Large Motors and Generators.

    “Our challenge is to achieve this ambition while maintaining stable and reliable power networks. This is where synchronous condensers are set to play a key role. So, we are delighted to have worked with Statkraft on this ground-breaking project that is already demonstrating how innovative technology can address the inertia challenge.”

    The high-inertia synchronous condenser systems were manufactured by ABB in Sweden and installed by the firm’s UK’s engineering team. Statkraft has signed a 10-year contract with ABB for planned maintenance services, with ABB Ability digital condition monitoring solutions deployed to optimise performance and predict maintenance needs.

    According to ABB, the Lister Park facility is now providing around one percent of the UK’s projected inertia requirement for 2025. The project is part of a wider UK scheme to replace the inertia lost due to decommissioning of five coal-fired plants, which will deliver consumers savings of around $122m.

    Extracted from The Engineer, read more here

    Posted in Opinion

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