Super grid is on the card now. Growing fashion of establishing interconnections is now serving a purpose, linking diversified resources of energy production and connecting remotely located options of renewable with the load centers which are far away from production points.
Formations of interconnections open the probabilities of capitalization on the dissimilar load patterns of interconnected control areas as well.
It is learned recently about the proposal of having interconnection of the national grids of Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia and Russia with (HVDC) transmission lines. This interconnection would enable the delivery of electricity from the region’s abundant renewable energy sources to its load centers.
From the Middle East perspective, already GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) that comprises of six gulf countries namely United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, are tied up their interconnection.
Though Saudi Arabia’s power network is operating at 60 HZ whereas rests of the GCC countries are operating on traditional 50 Hz, The challenge of synchronizing two frequencies have been tackled with assistance of new technologies. A back to Back HVDC converter is used to connect 50 and 60 Hz blocks. Equipped with (DRPS) Dynamic Reserve Power Sharing logic control, that enables this B2B converter to dynamically respond the frequency fluctuations within a threshold on either side thus acting as “Super Governor” to control mismatch in generation and demand that may arise due to any emergency.
Experience shows that a considerable amount of benefits can be fetched from properly designed interconnections it will reduced installed capacity as a direct result of reserve sharing, in case of GCC grid it is estimated through a carefully performed studies that by year 2030 total saving in installed capacity will be around 662 MUSD.
Apart from this saving, interconnections can also provide assistance to its members during emergencies, avoid black outs and Sevier power shortage as witnessed in many of Asian countries.
GCC grid has the capability to extend its arms and further connected with Egypt and Jordan as part of “EJLIST” interconnection and then to “Maghreb Interconnection” comprises of Libya, Algeria and others.
Finally interconnections with turkey virtually connect Asia with Europe grid UCTE and that will be the point where dream of “Super Grid” will come true. Emerging technologies of SMART grid, FACTs, HVDC and in ICT fields will facilitate a future when all “bits & pieces” of this complex network put together and thirst of Asian Power will be quenched.
Ehtesham Uddin, Senior Engineer, Abu Dhabi Transmission & Dispatch Company (TRANSCO)
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Ehtesham Uddin is a Senior Engineer at Abu Dhabi Transmission & Dispatch Company (TRANSCO).