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ABB agrees collaboration with EDF Energy Networks to improve access to renewable electricity


Flexible AC Transmission (FACTS) system will be installed in EDF Energy Networks’ distribution network on the Norfolk coast of the UK, to level out load peaks and improve access to wind power.

Zurich, Switzerland, 18th December , 2008 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has agreed a contract with EDF Energy Networks to work on a collaborative research, development and demonstration project in the UK to install an SVC Light® with dynamic energy storage in a grid with a high penetration of wind power.

The installation will yield dynamic voltage control in an 11 kV distribution system and at the same time enable dynamic storage of surplus energy from wind farms, which can be utilized to level out peaks in grid loading. Using this strategy, the power harnessed from the wind can be put to more efficient use than would otherwise be possible.

The SVC Light with dynamic energy storage based on high-tech lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries will be constructed in Hemsby, Norfolk, and connected to the distribution network between Ormesby and Martham in Norfolk, England. It will be in operation by the end of next year (2009).

Allan Boardman, EDF Energy Networks planning engineer said: “This project will make a difference, because it will allow more renewable generation connections to existing electricity networks, and it will also demonstrate the value of energy storage”.

“The installation will improve the usability of power from wind farms and avoid the destabilizing effect it can have on the grid.” said Per Eckemark, Head of ABB’s FACTS System Group. “It will also provide a useful reference project for energy storage”.

This collaboration project clearly demonstrates the commitment of both ABB and EDF Energy Networks to address climate change, by improving network access to renewable electricity production. The benefits may include a reduction in the amount of carbon produced by the UK power industry.

The project is being financially supported through industry regulator Ofgem’s Innovation Funding Incentive scheme.

About SVC Light

SVC Light is part of ABB’s FACTS portfolio. The term FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) covers a number of technologies that enhance the security, capacity and flexibility of power transmission and distribution systems, as well as enhance productivity and power quality in industry.

SVC Light is a unique power semiconductor technology based on power transistors (IGBT). With dynamic energy storage, it enables voltage control and control of active power flow in the grid at the same time.

ABB is a worldwide leader in the growing field of FACTS, with more than 700 installations in operation or under construction all over the world, and the technology is part of the company’s contribution to Smart Grids: the evolution of electricity networks to incorporate information technologies. The developments will help to meet the changing power needs of society. FACTS significantly ease the incorporation of renewable power into the grid and can therefore contribute significantly to climate protection initiatives.

About EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies. It provides power to a quarter of the UK’s population via electricity distribution networks in London, the South East and the East of England. It supplies gas and electricity to more than five million customers and generates about 5GW of energy from our coal and gas power stations, as well as combined heat and power plants and wind farms. Through its Climate and Social Commitments it has launched the biggest environmental and social packages of any UK energy company. The company is also a key player in national infrastructure projects including management of private electricity networks serving four London airports and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the country’s first major new railway in 100 years. EDF Energy employs nearly 13,000 people at locations across the UK and is a core part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. EDF is the official energy utilities partner and sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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