Siemens Energy was tasked by German and Dutch grid operator TenneT to provide three grid stabilization solutions for the German power grid.
Transmission system operators will need to discover creative ways to transfer more energy while maintaining grid stability as more conventional power plants are shut down and replaced by electricity from distributed renewable energy sources as part of the energy transition.
Synchronous condenser systems make up two of the three available options. In its most basic form, a synchronous condenser is made up of a generator and a flywheel. With help from the generator, the flywheel is set in motion. This results in the storage of kinetic energy, which can be used for many purposes later on, such as feeding active power into the grid for stabilization. The Siemens Energy synchronous condenser will be constructed at Großkrotzenburg (Hesse) and Würgassen (North Rhine-Westphalia). TenneT has begun upgrading the Würgassen substation, and will soon begin work on the Großkrotzenburg substation, both of which will play pivotal roles in the energy transition as key nodes in the network.
One of the three options is a world’s first in technology: a reactive power compensation system using supercapacitors (Static Var Compensator Frequency Stabilizer; SVC PLUS FS for short). Supercapacitors will be used for short-term storage. The supercapacitors may either actively charge themselves for a short period of time, pulling up to 200 megawatts from the grid, or feed the stored power into the grid to combat frequency oscillations.
Because of this, the SVC PLUS FS can react to grid disturbances significantly faster than standard battery storage systems. You’ll just need about a third of the room for this. In the German town of Mehrum, Siemens Energy will construct the systems. This state generates more onshore wind energy than any other in Germany, making grid expansion a necessity for a steady supply of electricity. In 2025, we want to finally put these three systems into operation.
Image source: Siemens Energy