Stability has never been more critical to the electrical grid, especially as more renewable energy projects are brought online each year. With unique challenges existing in different environments, tailored solutions are required to integrate these new energy sources with existing operations.
In the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia, operator Western Power required a solution to ensure a stable grid and support renewable energy projects in the city of Kalgoorlie–Boulder.
Kalgoorlie–Boulder is located some 650 kilometres (404 mi) north-east of its power generation source at Muja, with the network supplying power to large mining operations that draw heavy loads for extended periods of time. Environmental factors are also a key consideration: the region's semi-arid climate sees average monthly temperatures as high as 34°C (93°F).
The Siemens SINAMICS S120 STATCOMs installed at the West Kalgoorlie–Boulder substation are future-ready, and can reliably bridge the divide between traditional grid systems and renewable energy: including wind power, battery and hydrogen. The units are self-contained and liquid-cooled, keeping cool in high temperatures and allow for easy maintance.
Siemens' solution also includes a digital twin of the Western Power grid network, allowing technicians to create a virtual replica of the network that provides real-time, visual fault-detection. Plus, with up to seven different applications built in, the SINAMICS S120 units can be customised to work with existing workflows.