ABB technology stabilises grid and improves power quality at the largest solar power plant in Jordan

2017-03-23 - Three VArPro™ STATCOM units improve power quality generated at the Shams Ma’an photovoltaic plant, one of the biggest and most advanced of its kind in the Middle East. ABB in Poland is responsible for design, manufacture, supply and commissioning of these devices.

Fot. Damian Jęcek

The 52.5 MW Shams Ma’an solar power plant which covers an area of over 200 football fields is to generate approximately 160 GWh of power annually, serving approx. 35,000 households. The plant is using over 600,000 high-performance thin film modules. This new investment will help Jordan’s economy reduce its reliance on imported oil and gas.

To meet the NEPCO grid code requirement, ABB proposed a dynamic (real-time) power grid stabilising solution. The 6MVAR STATCOM System solution is comprised of three STATCOM 2MVAr units, designed and manufactured at ABB in Poland, continuously provides variable reactive power in response to voltage variations, improving the voltage stability. STATCOM is serving as voltage regulating device for the transmission and distribution networks which can instantly respond to transients and grid disturbances.

ABB in Poland signed the order for the supply of these devices with ABB in Jordan at the end of 2015. The developer is Shams Ma’an Power Generation PSC, whereas First Solar is the leading manufacturer of photovoltaic modules and EPC/O&M contractor for the PV plant.

The system has been tailored to meet interconnection requirements for integrating solar power plant into the power grid according to the Jordanian grid code. This technologically advanced system solution with built-in redundancy is modular and scalable, suitable for operating within a temperature range from -5°C to +44°C thanks to inter alia, ABB’s advanced air cooling system witch special casing designed to withstand harsh climates. The system consists of modules which can work independently of each other even in case of an emergency shutdown of a single system, which significantly facilitates service and maintenance options. Additionally, the VArPro system is equipped with remote monitoring functionality.

It has been manufactured at ABB in Poland, offering turnkey solutions for STATCOM up to 5MVAr, including engineering, assembly, installation, commissioning and service assistance. The Polish company is responsible for the regions of Europe, Africa and the Middle East within the ABB Group.

“Due to the instability of renewable energy sources, we expect a growing demand for supporting devices, such as STATCOM systems or battery-based energy storages. We want to continue development in this market thanks to our wide portfolio and flexibility in tailoring the parameters and functions of our products to individual customers' needs” – says Michal Ciacka from ABB Power Grid Division in Poland.

For ABB in Poland, it is the first project of its kind to be completed in the Middle East. Previously, the company delivered STATCOM units for the industrial application in Russia, a local power supply to an unstable grid in Norway, and large wind power plant located in Northern Ireland.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.