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Helping Communities Generate with ANM

Helping Communities Generate with ANM

The Point and Sandwick Trust (PST) were building a 9MW wind farm on common grazings to the West of Stornoway. However, during construction it became clear that intermittent local grid capacity and stability issues meant that the wind farm would have to be capped at 7MW or risk being constantly tripped off.  Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) worked with PST and SSEN to develop a bespoke solution with its ANM Element software, which now enables Beinn Ghrideag to export up to its full capacity of 9MW when local grid conditions allow and to respond flexibly and in real time to any temporary local constraint.

The districts of Point and Sandwick include some 16 crofting communities located between the town of Stornoway and the tip of the Point peninsula on the Isle of Lewis. The limited (22MW) cable connection to the mainland grid combined with a large number of intermittent producers on a dispersed rural network meant that there were unique capacity, stability and balancing issues on Lewis.

At the same time, given the region’s excellent average wind speeds, PST wanted to develop the largest wind farm possible in order to make the island communities more self-sufficient. 

At 9MW Beinn Ghrideag is the largest community owned wind farm in Britain. It required a flexible connection which has the ability to curtailed export when there is not enough demand to sustain the generation export to the local grid and mainland. Working with SGS and SSEN, an active network management solution was proposed, using SGS’s world-leading ANM Element software as their grid connection solution. ANM Element – a standalone, distributed, real-time constraint management system, was installed to monitor the output of the new wind farm to ensure that the thermal loading capacity of the current subsea cable was maintained.

The installation of ANM Element enabled the Point and Sandwick Trust to connect their wind farm to the grid and to operate at full capacity when local conditions allow and to generate significantly more money for reinvestment in the local economy and community.

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