The Neart na Gaoithe wind farm is situated in the outer Firth of Forth, 30km north of Torness on the Scottish east coast. The development is designed to deliver 450MW of power to the national grid – enough to supply every home in Edinburgh – and will use four Point-on-Wave (P-o-W) switching devices to allow for regular switching of the shunt reactors and to avoid inrush currents and DC offsets. The offshore wind farm is connected to inland systems (and ultimately the national grid) via huge cables. The shunt reactors are needed to compensate for these offshore cables.Enspec was chosen by engineering consultants, EDF Renewables, to deliver the £80k P-o-W switching system because it could conduct the system study, design and build the switching system as a single project.The contract was placed on 20 June, and the switch panels were delivered to the test site during October with installation and commissioning planed for Q1 2021. The circuit design is unique with the inclusion of IEC 61850 communications capability for integration with a SCADA process control system.Grid code compliance is always an issue for wind farms because of the complex switching requirements, and Enspec has built a strong reputation for analysing, modelling and designing wind farm switching systems.
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