ABB modernises Italian wind power utility with cutting-edge automation

Italian wind farm operator Volta Green Energy has upgraded its entire fleet of wind farms with ABB’s automation and control solution for distributed energy resources.
ABB modernises Italian wind power utility with cutting-edge automation
Courtesy of Cision

Volta Green Energy operates over 350 MW of wind farms and 16 MW of solar photovoltaic systems in Italy. The company recently implemented the ABB Ability e-mesh control and automation solution for distributed energy resources, including, as part of the project, the upgrading of five wind farms in Sicily and a remote control center in Rovereto in Trento district, with ABB’s advanced e-mesh solution.

Wind farms need to rely on technology for efficient operation and utilities usually need to manage sites distributed in many remote locations. To extend equipment life and to optimise production, operators must focus on asset maintenance by deploying advanced control and automation technologies and upgrading their existing infrastructure.

“Through a single interface in our central control room in Rovereto, the northernmost tip of Italy, we can monitor and control the five wind farms included in the system which are spread across different parts of Sicily, the other end of the country” said Domenico Finco, founding member of Volta Green Energy. “This upgrade will help us to increase the efficiency and productivity of our operations and get insights into our fleet performance.

The e-mesh system gives control room operators visibility across all the field assets, enables better control and helps optimize production capacity. It is also scalable – if more wind farm sites are added to the control center, the same operators can manage them just as efficiently. A wind farm efficiency (WFE) application enables optimal performance management for each individual turbine and prevents production losses.

Italy is stepping up investment in renewable power generation with the Strategia Energetica Nazionale, the country’s national energy strategy. The policy predicts 28 percent of electricity consumption being supplied by renewable power in 2030. With attractive feed-in tariffs and the potential for both commercial-scale and small wind turbines, by then the country aims to produce 40.1 TWh of electricity through wind power, about twice as much as in 20171.

“The ABB Ability e-mesh solution is reliable, future-proof, and an all-in-one automation and control solution” added Massimo Danieli, Head of ABB’s Grid Automation business line within the company’s Power Grids business. “It allows distributed energy generation installations such as microgrids and renewable power plants or fleets to better manage their operations and increase revenue. The solution is built on the powerful ABB Ability based MicroSCADA enhanced with grid edge specific e-mesh application software with advanced wind libraries that enable multiple applications for wind farm management and analysis.”

As consumption of renewable power increases, distributed energy resources (DERs) – small-scale power generation systems set up close to points of consumption – are increasing. DERs include utility scale solar and wind generation plants, battery energy storage systems and microgrids.

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Volta Green Energy

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