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Features Zurich, Switzerland 26-10-2020

4 min read

Hitachi ABB Power Grids' expertise helps shape a sustainable energy future for Angola

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has an impressive and varied track record in technology innovation and adding value to the customer through their huge installed base of projects, whether that is ensuring grid compliance for a 23 MW solar power plant in Jordan or studying the effect of Germany’s ambitious electric vehicle goal on the Country low voltage grid.

Their latest, and highly prestigious, project is to support the Government of Angola in meeting their renewables target by connecting Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest solar project to the country’s transmission network. While Angola has a rapidly growing economy and a population of approximately 30 million, their power system is still relatively small and with a huge potential of development, so the task required intelligent analysis and feasibility studies.

Hence Hitachi ABB Power Grids conducted an in-depth grid impact study into Angola´s unique requirements to analyse the best way to achieve their targets. A team of leading experts worked on the ground for 18 months in the run up to the order with the customer - MCA Group, on behalf of Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water - being secured.

This landmark project will have a huge societal impact on Angola, specifically its economy, and will significantly increase the country’s share of renewable energy. It is one of the largest photovoltaic projects ever delivered and will enable Angola to integrate more renewables and electrify rural areas, whilst still maintaining a stable network throughout the country. It also fully supports the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 7 of ensuring that all people have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. 

“We are proud of our team of world-class consultants who conducted an in-depth study, which is enabling the project. The project, which is the largest solar project in Sub-Saharan Africa, will contribute to a sustainable society, bringing renewable power to 30 million people in Angola” said Daniel Galvan, Head of Power Consulting within Business Unit Grid Integration.

“The issues around energy and power have become so much more complex and customers often don’t expect or fully understand the challenges they are about to face when undertaking an assignment,” Daniel added. “We help to break these down, find solutions specific to their assignment and make fact-based decisions amidst a complex reality. Our experts´ role in this case was to advise all involved from Hitachi ABB Power Grids, and from the client MCA, to make informed decisions on technical issues surrounding the project that could have jeopardized its future operation or reduced the possibility to unlock its full value.“ 

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has deployed advisory across six continents to help address issues of network strategy planning, and operations taking into account capacity, efficiency, stability, security, reliability and resiliency. The team of experts has a unique perspective on the complex technical, financial and regulatory environments that their customers face. They have helped every type of business - from large, multinational utilities to small and medium-sized municipals and cooperatives to businesses like manufacturers and hospitals - solve their toughest power challenges.

Through extensive digital simulation expertise, specialized software developed by Hitachi Power Grids and power system modelling packages, our top-level experts can mitigate the risk and verify the feasibility of projects before the customer must sign them off.

Reference projects

  1. Renewables: When Falcon Ma’an Solar Power needed to ensure grid code compliance for a proposed 23 MW solar power plant in Jordan, Hitachi ABB Power Grids simulated the potential impact under steady-state and dynamic conditions and recommended a 10MVAR STATCOM to meet the grid code’s dynamic stability criteria.
  2. Supergrid: Seeing an opportunity to export power to the UK market, Ireland decided to expand its wind power generation. Hitachi ABB Power Grids conducted several studies to assess the feasibility and impact of integrating a dual-flow, long-distance HVDC transmission system into the AC network. With the system now in place, Ireland can sell and buy power not only from the UK National Grid, but also from the European mainland.
  3. Electric vehicles: When Germany set the ambitious goal of having one million electrical cars on the country´s roads by 2020, Hitachi ABB Power Grids was called in to study the effect of charging stations on the low voltage grid. Among other conclusions, Hitachi ABB Power Grids recommended ways to make the grid more economical as well as reduce the frequency and duration of interruptions.
  4. Big data: Hitachi ABB Power Grids is leveraging analytics technology to mine data from past storms to analyze how the grid might be impacted, estimate restoration times, and predict the type of equipment inventory and crew resources that will be needed to handle grid restoration. Combined with other services like contingency simulations and an analysis of network connections and alternate sources, Hitachi ABB Power Grids can help decrease restoration times even further.