Solutions for Wind Energy

Solutions for Wind Energy

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There are lots of challenges involved in harnessing the wind to generate electricity. As regulations and requirements for wind energy plants continue to evolve, new hurdles are being imposed for connecting them to the grid and maintaining full production. And wind energy plant projects can be delayed by inappropriate equipment selection or incorrect installation, limiting revenue and potentially incurring financial penalties as well.

S&C Electric Company can help. We offer comprehensive, field-proven solutions for integrating wind energy plants with the grid in a predictable, streamlined manner, and can address even the most complex issues.

The intermittent nature of the wind can create voltage stability problems on the transmission system to which a wind energy plant is connected. To prevent such occurrences, utilities and regulators are creating increasingly strict grid interconnection requirements that wind energy plants must meet . . . or risk production curtailment.

S&C’s reactive power control solutions can help your wind energy plant conform to grid interconnection requirements. Our team of engineers closely follows changing interconnection requirements around the world and can provide expert counsel.

First, we’ll perform analytical studies to determine the remedial actions needed for your plant. Based on the results of the studies, we’ll propose the most cost-effective solution for meeting the interconnection requirements. After the proposal has been accepted, S&C can manage all aspects of its implementation, including:

  • Project management
  • Electrical and physical design
  • Equipment specification and procurement
  • Construction management, and
  • Installation, testing, and commissioning.

With S&C’s expertise in the technologies used for reactive power control, you’re assured that S&C will anticipate potential problems, address them up-front, and deliver a solution on time and properly installed. We also offer comprehensive maintenance services that ensure the system stays in top operating condition and that you stay in compliance with grid connection requirements.

The collector system of your wind plant delivers wind energy from the turbines to the collector substation, and on to the transmission grid. It’s a complex system that has design requirements distinctly different from typical medium-voltage distribution systems. It needs to perform reliably. And it must be completed on schedule to realize the full return from your wind plant. You need an expert who understands its technical challenges, and has a proven track record of delivering solutions that meet the requirements . . . on time. 

S&C draws on our considerable experience in designing electric distribution networks to provide services that assure the successful design, construction, and commissioning of your collector system. We’ve delivered collector systems for small and large wind energy plants. Our service offerings can be combined into a complete engineer-procure-construct (EPC) package too, which includes:

  • Conceptual layouts
  • Analytical studies
  • Review of local codes and requirements for switching and protection
  • Design engineering, including physical, protection and control, and civil engineering
  • Procurement of all equipment
  • Project management
  • Construction management, including contractor selection, and
  • Maintenance.

We only select equipment that has a demonstrated record of superior field performance.

The interconnection substation delivers wind energy collected from your plant to the grid. It needs to perform its function reliably, right from the start.

S&C can provide a complete turnkey interconnection substation up to—and including—the final transmission line segment that connects your plant to the grid. We can provide services including:

  • Analytical studies; engineering design; and installation documentation, including drawings, specifications, and bills of material
  • Procurement of major equipment, such as transformers and cable
  • Construction, including site preparation, erection of steel structures, and equipment installation, utilizing S&C-supervised subcontractors
  • Acceptance and in-service testing of all equipment, and
  • Commissioning, including all steps necessary to transfer the equipment to you, such as appropriate documentation, final test reports, and project as-built drawings.

By selecting S&C to provide your interconnection substation on a turnkey basis, you can dedicate more time to other critical tasks needed to complete your wind energy plant. Your total investment cost is reduced as well, as S&C’s experienced team will streamline the design and approval processes and effectively manage construction and commissioning.

Distributed Static Compensators

Our reactive power control solutions include proven products such as the S&C PureWave® DSTATCOM Distributed Static Compensator. This fast-compensating reactive power source has been applied at wind energy plants around the world to reduce voltage variations and allow the plants to meet power factor, voltage output, and low-voltage ride-through requirements of grid codes.  There’s no need to curtail production of the entire plant when maintenance is needed . . . only the generation connected to the affected inverter section is impacted. PureWave DSTATCOM is fully tested at the factory, for quick installation and commissioning.

Medium-Voltage Switchgear

S&C Vista® Underground Distribution Switchgear and System VI™ Switchgear reliably control power flow from your turbines to the collector substation. They connect gigawatts of wind energy to the grid, worldwide. Both feature a compact, sealed design that protects against animal intrusion and provides superior performance in even the most challenging environments.  And both feature switches with a clearly visible open gap and integral grounding capability—for a higher level of safety for your operating personnel. Vista Switchgear offers arc-resistant construction too, adding another layer of safety for your personnel.

Vista Switchgear is available in a wide range of models that allow application throughout the wind plant collector system. Compact Wind Turbine Style fits in the base of the tower and provides switching and protection for the turbine. Pad-Mounted Style is installed in the collector system to meet local inspection requirements for isolation of segments during maintenance. 

S&C’s industry-leading medium-voltage switchgear can also be applied at your interconnection substation. System VI Switchgear combines the features of Vista Switchgear with customer-specified control devices, such as meters and special relays, to connect wind plants between 5 MW and 70 MW to the grid. It provides a compact, reliable, and affordable solution for this application.