EirGrid is partnering with Smart Wire Grid Europe and the research and development consortium Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on a project aimed at boosting the flow of renewable energy on the grid.
The project is being supported with a financial contribution from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) under the SEAI National Energy Research, Development & Demonstration Funding Programme 2019.
Ireland-based Smart Wire Grid Europe is leading the two-year project, with total budget of almost €300,000.
It aims to develop sophisticated software tools that will enable EirGrid to increase the wind and solar power that can be transported over the grid.
As operator of the national electricity grid, EirGrid has been tasked with increasing the average amount of renewable energy to 70% by 2030, from an average of just over 40% today.
EirGrid CEO Mark Foley said the project will optimise the use of the electricity network in real time, allowing more renewable energy to flow over existing lines.
“By participating in this project, EirGrid is not only helping to future proof its network but contributing to the global energy transition by supporting the development of tools that can be rolled out to grid operators across the world.
“We are delighted to partner with Smart Wires and EPRI on this important work,” Foley said.
The project will develop a new advanced software tool that will “help visualise and optimise” the settings of the power flow control devices on the grid and provide “more consistent, real-time control”.
This helps resolve constraints, enables a greater integration of renewable energy, and reduces the need for new infrastructure, EirGrid said.
It will be built such that it can be converted to other grid operation platforms, allowing easy adoption by transmission system operators across the world.
Smart Wires is developing the technology and tools and EPRI is providing subject matter expertise.
EirGrid will share relevant transmission system data and provide subject matter expertise.
Smart Wires CEO Peter Wells said: “Power flow control technology will be crucial to countries meeting their climate action obligations.
“This project will be watched with interest globally and is another example of European technology leadership in the energy transition. We already see major global interest in this work as countries seek ways to unlock the full potential of their grids to enable the energy transition.”