The scheduled renovation was conducted by a team of about 30 Alstom employees who worked on changing software as well as hardware. The challenge was to make sure at least 3 in 6 units were running as project execution progressed. The customer, Taipower, could not afford to stop the whole power plant since the Mingtan site is crucial to the power supply system in Taiwan. Indeed, the Mingtan power plant is connected to the national grid and manages the peak load in electricity consumption of the island. The Mingtan pumped storage power plant is also a way for Taiwan to fully utilize its electricity off-peak, pumping water from the lower reservoir back into the upper reservoir.
Commissioning time on site was shortened thanks to the use of a new hydro plant simulation system developed for Mingtan by the Alstom team in Tianjin. This meant that much of the system’s difficulties were isolated and resolved before the work started on site.
As a result of the upgrade, the hydro plant will benefit from a more accurate and user friendly system and maintenance will be much easier. The system is now more open and can incorporate third party elements. Thanks to this new functionality, the team was able to connect three new sites to the SCADA.
The Mingtan pumped storage hydro plant is operated by Taipower and is the largest PSP on the island of Taiwan with 1,600 MW capacity. Alstom was involved in the construction of the power plant, supplying and installing the generators back in 1987.