Starting this year, the power grid serving the Swedish island of Gotland will be transformed into a smart grid. A preparatory study for the project was concluded at the end of May, laying the foundation for a grid that will hopefully become a role model for Europe.
The Smart Grid Gotland project is a part of Vattenfall's research and development efforts within the smart-grid area. The project aims to develop strategies for the planning, construction and operation of a large-scale smart grid with a large share of intermittent power production. Already today, 30 percent of Gotland’s electricity needs come from locally produced wind power, and another 1,000 MW is planned.
Currently there are many projects being conducted by Vattenfall and other organizations, exploring the challenges that are delaying the large-scale introduction of wind power and solar energy. However, this is the first time that existing components and systems are being tested together.
The project serves real customers
Furthermore, the Gotland project is unusual in that its subject is a full-scale, live grid serving real customers.
“Smart Grid Gotland is a unique project,” says Fredrik Brändström,the R&D project leader. “Also, Gotland’s grid can be separated from the mainland grid. This makes it a scale model of a complete Swedish – or even European – future power system.”
The project involves upgrading the existing grid with smart components, building an energy-storage facility, improving communication and testing the ability of various marketing models to influence customers’ energy habits.
Smart Grid Gotland is a joint venture between Vattenfall, ABB and GEAB, Gotland’s energy company. Now that the preparatory study has been completed, it is planned that the five-year project will begin during the last quarter of 2011.
Vattenfall Research & Development