ABB was contracted by South Australian electricity transmission network service provider ElectraNet to project manage the connection of a new wind farm facility in the state's south-east to ElectraNet's transmission network.
ElectraNet is actively involved in promoting renewable energy sources and is assisting to establish wind farm developments in South Australia.
For the Mayurra project, ABB was responsible for the construction of a greenfield substation, using state-of-the-art “point-on-wave” switching circuit breakers to reduce voltage disturbance. ElectraNet says it is the first time this technology has been applied for switching large transformers on ElectraNet's transmission network.
The “point-on-wave” switching circuit breakers monitor ensures consistent delivery of power by continuously monitoring the circuit breakers on both sides of the transformer and starts measuring remanent flux as soon as the last of these breakers opens.
Regardless of whether the transformer is trapped by protection or the control system, the remanent flux is always captured by the relay. The net result is continuous operation at the optimised point-on-wave, with negligible inrush current and no effect on system voltage.
ABB was also responsible for upgrades to support the increased load and generation at ElectraNet's Snuggery substation at Millicent in order to successfully commission the wind farm project.
ElectraNet says it entered into an “open-book” arrangement with ABB, delegating full responsibility for managing project costings, margins and contingencies to the German company.
ABB also entered into a risk sharing arrangement with ElectraNet on the commercial requirements of ElectraNet's transmission connection agreement with the wind farm developer.
"The exemplary project management skills and expertise displayed by ABB in this connection project ensured a safe, innovative, fast-tracked and quality outcome for all parties, in spite of a number of construction challenges,” says Alex Wyschnja, project manager for ElectraNet.
“With ABB's expertise, excellent communication, resources and in-depth knowledge of ElectraNet's systems, safety records were exemplary. Of over 35,000 working hours, there were zero hours lost through injury and one minor 'near-miss' incident.”
ABB completed the Mayurra substation and associated upgrade projects within 18 months, which ElectraNet said was considerably faster than the conservative approach used for project tendering and scoping.
ABB says its ability to lock-in production of long lead-time components before the contract was finalised meant that tight completion milestones were not compromised by ongoing negotiations with stakeholders.
"This project was a true demonstration of how a turnkey approach proved to be the best process for complex composite solutions of this kind. This, together with the open-book relationship adopted by ourselves and ElectraNet were key elements for a successful outcome," says ABB power systems vice president, Roland Vitelli.