GE Energy to help Iberdrola Renovables meet new standards

SPAIN - Faced with new and emerging standards for increased grid reliability, Iberdrola Renovables of Spain - the world's largest operator of wind farms - has selected GE Energy grid integration technology to upgrade its GE 1.5 MW turbines at wind farms in the Castilla La Mancha, Murcia and Rioja regions of Spain.

GE Energy will equip 290 GE 1.5-megawatt wind turbines in the three regions with new GE frequency converters incorporating the company's proprietary 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 Ricardo Cordoba, President Western Europe and North Africa, GE Energy. "Wind turbines without capabilities such as those provided by LVRT no longer qualify for special feed-in tariffs."

The project with Iberdrola Renovables will mark GE's first LVRT upgrade of wind turbines in Europe and GE's Spanish field operations team will do the installations.

"More and more utilities worldwide are adding wind to their power generation mix. With this increased level of wind power penetration into electric power networks, turbine manufacturers face more stringent transmission standards," said Ricardo Cordoba.

"GE's LVRT capability is one in a series of continuing technology advancements helping to move the global wind industry forward. It enables the turbines to meet transmission reliability standards similar to those demanded of thermal generators."

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 could lead to cascaded tripping and loss of revenue. Today, grid operators are requesting that wind farms ride through grid disturbances, remaining on line to continue supporting the grid.

GE's LVRT technology is designed to deliver ride-through capability for up to 15 per cent grid voltage for at least 500 milliseconds. The technology is part of the company's WindRIDE-THRU family of products, which also includes Zero Voltage Ride-Thru. Both packages are designed to meet present and emerging grid reliability requirements worldwide.


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