By Gary Thomas
ABB, one of the foremost organizations in power and automation, has entered into a contract valued at about $55 million with Brazilian utility Eolicas do Sul to provide three new substations and transmission infrastructure. Over the years, Brazil has been dependent on hydropower. The undertaking with ABB is the Brazilian government’s endeavour to enhance wind power to avail additional energy.
Of late, Brazil has been tapping into its wind power resource and has currently installed wind capacity of about 1500 MW with plans for an additional 7000 MW in the coming five years. Brazil is the biggest user of electricity in Latin America and uses twice the quantity used by Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. The country has an installed power capacity of over 100,000 MW, which is similar to that of Italy or the UK. Brazil will continue in its pursuit of industrial and macroeconomic development with the support of its population, which is expected to touch 220 million by 2020. As a consequence, the electricity requirement of the country by 2020 will be around 150,000 MW. The country will also need to update the infrastructure, comprising extra distribution and transmission networks, to supply power efficiently throughout the country.
ABB will design, provide, install and get the substations running in Rio Grande do Sul, of which two will be 34.5/138kV substations and one 138/500 kV substation, and step-up energy transformers and gas- and air-insulated switchgears. Step-up transformers will enhance voltage of wind power for incorporating into the transmission grid.
ABB will provide supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and telecommunication systems including IEC 61850-adhering substation automation, control and safeguarding paraphernalia. ABB will also supply and install two 138 kV overhead transmission lines to connect a new 400 MW wind power plant to the country’s power grid. The project is anticipated to be completed by 2014.