S&C Electric Co. won a $2.6 million contract by Sweetwater Wind to upgrade a portion of their 585 MW wind farm in Sweetwater, Texas. This upgrade will enable Sweetwater Wind to meet new renewable energy generation interconnection standards that have been enacted in Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
Wind farm power production can rapidly change due to the intermittent nature of the source — ultimately creating voltage instability on power grids. Last year, ERCOT revised its grid code by modifying the reactive power capability requirements.
The new standards require Sweetwater Wind to provide a lagging power factor capability of 0.95 or less and a leading power factor capability of 0.95 or less at the point of interconnection (POI). Sweetwater Wind turned to S&C for a solution to meet the new standards.
S&C is engineering and constructing a complete system using mechanically switched capacitors in three substations at the site. S&C is also designing and installing the control system in the plant's east substation to manage the capacitor banks and switches. The project is expected to be completed by June 2013.