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Features Zurich, Switzerland 29-09-2016

3 min read

ABB technologies to help stabilize generation at new mega solar power plant in the land of the rising sun

ABB will deliver an energy storage system and solar inverters for a new 28-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Hokkaido, Japan’s second largest island. The advanced technologies will enable the reliable and efficient integration of solar power supply into the national grid and improve stability, supporting Japan’s renewable energy push

Japan is one of the world's largest solar power markets and has seen recent growth in this sector. The country's overall installed solar power generation capacity met 3.5 percent of the nation's annual electricity demand in 2015 and amounted to 32 gigawatts (GW) as of February 2016. The Japanese government plans to double this to 64 GW by 2030, increasing the contribution of solar PV to around seven percent of total electrical energy demand.

As one of the country's major solar endeavors, Shin Chitose Kashiwadai Solar Power Plant is a joint investment of Japan's Energy Products Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation. The project is part of an initiative by the Japanese corporation to promote the use of renewable energy. Upon completion in June 2017, the power plant's more than 10,000 PV panels are expected to generate 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy annually, equivalent to the annual power consumption of around 11,000 local households.

A matter of balance and control

ACS 1000 Air-cooled

ABB's scope of supply for this project includes a containerized 17 MW EssProTM PCS energy storage system, 14 PVS800-IS inverter stations, each rated at 2 MW, as well as a system performance simulation solution. The EssProTM system will balance the PV plant's power generation by supplying or absorbing energy to limit the ramp rate to within +/- 1 percent per minute of the plant's rated capacity as required by the grid code of the local utility Hokkaido Electric Power Company. This grid code requirement is very stringent when compared to other grids around the world, which specify ramp rates of between 10 and 20 percent per minute. This requires storage and inverter solutions with highly dynamic control response.

Controlling and limiting the ramp rate of the PV plant is a prerequisite for reliable integration into the power grid. The intermittent nature of renewable energy tends to upset the power load balance in the network during events like passing clouds. Battery energy storage provides the means to instantly balance power and control the ramp rate of the PV plant.

"This project is a great demonstration of how leading technologies and power solutions from ABB such as battery energy storage and solar inverters are supporting countries around the world to improve availability and reliability of renewable energy," said Oleg Aleinikov, Managing Director of ABB's Grid Integration business, a part of the company's Power Grids division. "Integration of renewables is a key element of our Next Level strategy to help meet growing energy demand around the world while minimizing environmental impact ."