ABB commissions first digital substations in Italy
ABB has commissioned two digital substations located in Tolve and Vaglio, part of the Basilicata region in southern Italy. The substations will integrate and transmit electricity generated by local wind farms to homes and businesses in the region and will contribute to Italy’s 2030 goal to meet 28 percent of its energy needs through renewables.
Key supplies to the substations include ABB AbilityTM based automation and control systems, intelligent protection equipment, transformers with sensors, digitally enabled switchgear and advanced communication systems. ABB has also signed a 20 year service contract to support the operations of the new digital substation in Vaglio. This solution includes 24/7 online monitoring through remote control centers based in Genoa, Sesto San Giovanni and Santa Palomba.
Substations are key elements in power grid infrastructure that facilitate the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity. They control and protect power flows, connect power stations to the grid and link transmission and distribution networks as well as end consumers.
Key digital components enhance controllability and reliability while optimizing operating costs. They also enable interoperable communications through Ethernet cables instead of copper wires and reduce space requirements. Digitalization also offers remote monitoring capabilities and significantly enhances visibility of the installed assets and systems. It helps gather actionable data to provide operators in control centers with real time insights, to optimize operations and prevent failures.
The wind power generated in the Basilicata region in southern Italy supplies more than half of the total regional energy demand. The region is well known for its pre-historic town of Matera, which is one of the oldest inhabited parts of the world and has been designated as a European capital of culture 2019.
“These pioneering digital substations will help supply clean wind energy to millions in a historic region embracing the future,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division. “These projects are another example of how digitalization is playing a key role in shaping power systems and reaffirm ABB’s position as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”
The digital substation in Vaglio was commissioned for Lucania Wind Energy Srl and the Oppido Lucano one was commissioned for Tolve Wind Holding Srl deployed in collaboration with the Italian Engineering, Procurement and Contracting (EPC) company, PLC Service Srl.