Electrical switchgear engineers NOJA Power today announces that Eletrobras, Latin America’s largest power utility, has signed a contract totalling US$12 million with the company. The contract is for the supply of NOJA Power’s OSM15 and OSM38 Automatic Circuit Reclosers (ACR), installation expertise and post-installation engineering support. Eletrobras selected NOJA Power’s OSM ACRs after an international public tender process.
NOJA Power Brazil will link the ACRs to six Operation Centres allowing Eletrobras to monitor and control the units, optimising network operational characteristics such as protection and load shedding.
Brazil has avoided the worst of the global slowdown, and although annual GDP growth has slowed recently, years of steady expansion has seen the economy become the world’s sixth largest. The Brazilian Government, a majority shareholder of Eletrobras, is encouraging the company to modernise its electricity-generation, -transmission and -distribution infrastructure to better serve industry, business and domestic consumers of this rapidly developing country.
The government has implemented an ambitious modernisation program called “Project Energy +” which aims to place a greater reliance on renewable energy resources such as hydroelectric, solar and wind. In addition, the project’s grid improvements will reduce power loss, eliminating the need to add more centralised conventional generating capacity to meet increased demand. This combined strategy will help the country meet its carbon emission reduction targets. Brazil is expected to cumulatively spend US$27.7 billion on total smart grid investments by 2022.
NOJA Power’s ACRs’ bidirectional protection capability simplifies the connection of renewable energy resources. In addition, the protection afforded by the ACRs will help meet Project Energy +’s reliability improvement demands by offering superior protection, isolation and eventual power restoration when faults caused by lightning or objects such as branches shorting across electricity feeders are detected.
“Brazil is a rapidly developing country and the government is encouraging power utilities to upgrade their electricity infrastructure to meet the needs of the future,” explains Bruno Kimura, NOJA Power’s Managing Director, Brazil. “NOJA Power ACRs will be a fundamental component of Brazil’s new smart grid because they allow utilities such as Eletrobras to closely match supply and demand, rapidly switch in renewable energy sources and protect expensive infrastructure in the case of faults. These capabilities are essential if the high efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions that smart grids promise are to be realised.”
Units from NOJA Power's OSM range of medium-voltage (15, 27 and 38 kV) ACRs (see “About the NOJA Power OSM range” below) have been installed by utilities in over 80 countries around the world. The ACRs have been subjected to full type testing by independent test laboratories, such as KEMA in the Netherlands, to the latest standards. NOJA Power’s ACRs use solid dielectrics, replacing the environmentally-unfriendly oil or sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas of older products.
Eletrobras is Latin America's biggest power utility company, tenth largest in the world and the fourth largest clean energy company. The utility owns 41,621 MW of electricity generating capacity, corresponding to 35.5 percent of Brazil’s total power, and 56,179 km of transmission and distribution lines.
References 1. “CIA World Factbook”, 2012-13 Edition 2. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/brazils-smart-meter-regulations-not-a-binding-mandate-but-still-indicate-significant-smart-grid-market-potential-168583546.html