GE has announced it will provide two synchronous condensers and flywheel units to Italian grid operator Terna S.p.A. for the Brindisi substation in southern Italy.

Each synchronous condenser unit will supply reactive power of up to +250/-125 MVAr and 1750 MWs inertia to support the stability of Italy’s grid.

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Synchronous condensers

The intermittent nature of renewable sources, coupled with the many challenges stressing the electrical infrastructure, requires a significant effort to mitigate disturbances. GE’s synchronous condensers will be installed at strategic locations along the transmission system to produce or absorb reactive power to keep the power flowing consistently to the grid. This will help to ensure reliable power is available for those who need it, when they need it.

“Terna’s role is crucial to ensuring reliable power to households and businesses across Italy. This project builds on GE’s long-term relationship with Terna and our commitment to supporting them as they work to ensure a stable grid for Italy,” said Sacha Parneix, Chief Commercial Officer, GE Steam Power.

“Our renewable steam power technology, including synchronous condensers, is helping to enable a clean energy future and supporting our customers as they navigate a dynamic energy landscape,” concludes Parneix.

As part of its portfolio of renewable steam offerings, GE’s synchronous condensers are designed to quickly regulate the energy parameters of the transmission network, generate or absorb reactive energy, regulate the voltage and improve the energy factor, and increase the overall inertia of the power grid with the new flywheel system developed by GE.

This technology is especially important as Italy responds to the strong growth of installed renewable power, such as wind and photovoltaic plants, and parallel reduction of thermal power that have affected the reliability of the electricity grid.

GE’s scope of supply for this new project with Terna includes the design, civil works, supply, installation and commissioning of two electrical two-pole generators “Topair” technology, step-up transformers, generator circuit breakers, all the electrical and mechanical auxiliaries and balance of plant for supply, including the protection and controls systems, monitoring and diagnostic systems, as well as 20 years of planned maintenance.

Each of the generators will be equipped with a flywheel to respond to the inertia requirements from Terna.

This latest deal builds on GE’s long-term relationship with Terna, the owner and operator of 98 per cent of the Italian high-voltage power transmission grid.