Grupo Energia Bogotá (GEB) is improving the supply of reliable, affordable electricity to Colombian consumers by using SmartValve™ technology in the Caribbean region of their network. This marks the second installation of SmartValve in Colombia, with more projects to be delivered in 2022 to further strengthen the national transmission network.
This project at the Termocandelaria substation in Cartagena uses modular power flow control technology, SmartValve, to alleviate inter-regional congestion and unlock 252 MW of new capacity for generation on the existing network.
SmartValve intelligently controls the flow of power across transmission lines, and ensure flows are efficient and balanced across the region. Put simply, SmartValve pushes power off overloaded lines or pulls power on to underutilized lines.
By using the network more efficiently, SmartValve releases new interconnection capacity for the Termocandelaria power plant on the existing network. This newly released capacity provides greater availability of energy to meet demand and improves reliability of supply, alleviating dispatch restrictions and supporting economic development in the region.
"With the implementation of these innovative devices, the Group contributes to the country's energy security. In addition, among their functional advantages, SmartValves offer wide environmental and economic benefits, as they provide solutions to different needs in the short, medium, and long term for the country, since they reduce the obligation to carry out new transmission projects, such as lines and substations, to adequately dispatch the energy generated," said Fredy Zuleta, General Manager of Transmission of Grupo Energía Bogotá.
"We are instead using SmartValve technology to redistribute power flows across our lines and get more from our existing grid. This technology is a timely and cost-effective way to increase the capacity on this part of our network, without disrupting local communities and the environment," he said.
Joaquin Peirano, Smart Wires' Commercial Manager - Latin America, said: "Transmission owners in Colombia are advancing progress towards net zero by using modular power flow control technology to future proof the grid."
"We are delighted to collaborate with GEB on this pivotal project which is unlocking significant capacity and strengthening supply of reliable, affordable electricity to consumers across the Caribbean region," he said.
"This work shows GEB's commitment to improve the lives of people in every corner of Colombia with sustainable and competitive energy."
"Colombia has become a global leader in leveraging technology to enable a cleaner, greener future. GEB's project follows a successful initial installation by Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) last year. Further SmartValve projects will be delivered later in 2022 by other transmission owners across the country providing additional capacity for renewables connecting across the grid," said Mr Peirano.
The use of FACTS devices (such as SmartValve) is incentivized in Colombia's 2020-2034 Transmission Expansion Plan (http://www.upme.gov.co/Docs/Plan_Expansion/2020/Volumen1_Plan_Expansion_Generacion_Transmision_2020_2034_Final.pdf), published by the national planning agency (Unidad de Planeacion Minero Energetica, UPME). Given the value of this technology to cost-effectively strengthen and optimize the use of the existing grid, the national plan includes multiple FACTS projects over the coming years.