SmartValve signs up second project in Colombia

The Termocandelaria substation project in Cartagena uses SmartValve modular power flow control technology to cut congestion and unlock 252MW of capacity

Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB) is improving the supply of reliable, affordable electricity to Colombian consumers by using SmartValve technology in the Caribbean region of their network.  

The project at the Termocandelaria substation in Cartagena uses SmartValve modular power flow control technology to alleviate inter-regional congestion and unlock 252MW of new capacity for generation on the existing network. It marks the second installation of SmartValve in Colombia, with more projects to be delivered in 2022 to further strengthen the national transmission network.

SmartValve, from Smart Wires, is a single-phase, modular-SSSC that injects a leading or lagging voltage in quadrature with the line current. It controls the flow of power across transmission lines, and ensure flows are efficient and balanced across the region. Essentially, it pushes power off overloaded lines or pulls power on to underutilised lines.

By using the network more efficiently, SmartValve releases new interconnection capacity for the Termocandelaria power plant on the existing network. This newly released capacity provides greater availability of energy to meet demand and improves reliability of supply, alleviating dispatch restrictions and supporting economic development in the region.

"With the implementation of these innovative devices, the Group contributes to the country's energy security. In addition, among their functional advantages, SmartValves offer wide environmental and economic benefits, as they provide solutions to different needs in the short, medium, and long term for the country, since they reduce the obligation to carry out new transmission projects, such as lines and substations, to adequately dispatch the energy generated," said Fredy Zuleta, General Manager of Transmission of Grupo Energía Bogotá.

"We are instead using SmartValve technology to redistribute power flows across our lines and get more from our existing grid. This technology is a timely and cost-effective way to increase the capacity on this part of our network, without disrupting local communities and the environment," he said.

Joaquin Peirano, Smart Wires' Commercial Manager – Latin America, said: "Transmission owners in Colombia are advancing progress towards net zero by using modular power flow control technology to future proof the grid."

"We are delighted to collaborate with GEB on this pivotal project which is unlocking significant capacity and strengthening supply of reliable, affordable electricity to consumers across the Caribbean region," he said.

"This work shows GEB's commitment to improve the lives of people in every corner of Colombia with sustainable and competitive energy."

 "Colombia has become a global leader in leveraging technology to enable a cleaner, greener future. GEB's project follows a successful initial installation by Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) last year. Further SmartValve projects will be delivered later in 2022 by other transmission owners across the country providing additional capacity for renewables connecting across the grid," said Mr Peirano.

The use of FACTS devices (such as SmartValve) is incentivised in Colombia's 2020-2034 Transmission Expansion Plan, published by the national planning agency (Unidad de Planeacion Minero Energetica, UPME). 

MPC Energy Solutions targets Q3 for Colombia Planeta Rica solar plant launch

Energy production from the Planeta Rica solar project is expected to start in early Q3. The Planeta Rica plant will have an installed capacity of 26.55MWp, while delivering enough electricity to satisfy the energy needs of over 10,000 households in Colombia.

During the construction phase, the plant will employ over 200 people with a requirement for a proportion of those workers to be female. When the plant is commissioned, it will avoid the emission of over 4,000 tons of CO2 each year and provide a sustainable source of clean electricity.

CEO Martin Vogt believes Colombia has the potential to be a future clean energy leader.

"We have had a dedicated team in the country for several years," he said. "This OECD country is rich in sources of renewable energy and just like many other countries in Latin America, Colombia has ambitious targets for transition to renewable energy."

"The Planeta Rica project will support the country's transition towards a low-carbon future and help boost its resilience. The increasing scale of our operations in Colombia also allows us to ensure that high-value skills learnt from the construction and operation of these cutting-edge facilities help to enhance the broader economic development of Colombia."

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