ABB installs world’s first 500 kV digital substation in South America

A substation delivered by ABB will enable Enel Green Power to deliver carbon-free electricity from Brazil’s largest photovoltaic power system safely, reliably and sustainably.
ABB installs world’s first 500 kV digital substation in South America
Chiriqui solar power plant, Panama. Courtesy of Enel Green Power

Renewable energy generator Enel Green Power has chosen ABB to install a substation that will deliver solar power from EGP’s solar PV plant at São Gonçalo in Piauí, Brazil, to the country’s 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission network. It is the world’s first digital substation for the 500 kV alternating current rating.

ABB delivered Latin America’s first digital substation in Brazil in 2018. EGP decided to digitalise its assets operations and processes shortly after, having taken note of the ABB installation, the process to be achieved by 2020. The aim is to improve energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs and increase EGP’s deployment of sustainable solutions.

Working closely with EGP, ABB proposed various design and engineering alternatives to find the best and most cost-effective solution meeting the company’s requirements.

When completed, the entire 608 MW plant will be capable of generating more than 1,500 GWh of clean solar power – cutting down 860,000 tons of carbon emissions a year. This will be the biggest solar PV power plant in South America and will strengthen Enel Green Power’s position as a global leader in the green energy sector.

PV power is booming in Brazil. Installed capacity is expected to reach 3,000 MW at the end of this year, up 50 percent from 2018. According to ABSOLAR, the Brazilian PV industry trade association, this equates to $1.3 billion of investment in the country’s economy, translating into 15,000 jobs. Given the situation, today’s grid operators require digital solutions to deal with the increasing amount of intermittent renewable and distributed energy sources being integrated into the grid.

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Enel Green Power (EGP)

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