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Presenting solutions in Europe so that renewable energies can return electrical energy after a blackout

Researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de València, belonging to the Instituto de Automática e Informática Industrial (Institute ai2), and the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló (UJI) (Spain) have developed a system that allows, after a blackout, the electricity supply to be restored thanks to renewable energies. The UPV team presented it at the WindEurope Off-shore 2019 conference, held last week in Copenhagen.


Currently, when there is a collapse of electricity, in many countries the restoration of supply is guaranteed with thermal plants that must be permanently on if a blackout occurs, even if they are not producing energy. The alternative proposed by the ai2 team of the UPV is to take full advantage of the potential of offshore wind farms to avoid resorting to thermal plants.

The system is the result of the 20 years that the renewable energy team of the ai2 Institute has been working on offshore wind turbine control, especially through the European project H2020 PROMOTION, where the UPV is the only Spanish member – brings together a total of 34 partners from 11 countries, and the national project INTER-WIND-HVDC, developed in collaboration with the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló.

“The work of the ai2 Institute team will make a significant contribution to ensuring that highly contaminated thermal power stations can be replaced by renewable plants within the European decarbonisation targets”, stresses Ramón Blasco, coordinator of the ai2 group that has developed this new technology.

In addition, the use of this renewable technology would substantially reduce the duration of blackouts, such as the one that took place, for example, last September in Tenerife.

The ai2 professor Ramón Blasco participated a few days ago in the Panel of auxiliary services for large offshore wind farms, held during the WindEurope Off-shore 2019. The objective of the table was to move forward to achieve an electrical system with a very high percentage of renewable energy can operate in a robust way, including integrated energy storage systems.

Within this framework, the researcher presented the progress made thanks to the PROMOTION project.

The WindEurope Off-shore 2019 conference was opened by Prince Frederick of Denmark and the Director General for Energy of the European Commission, Ditte Juul Jørgensen. Also participating in the panel on auxiliary services for offshore wind farms were UPV researcher Daniel Fraile, Marketing Director of the European Wind Association (WindEurope), Adrian Timbus, Vice President of ABB’s Power Grid Business Portfolio and Philip Johnson, Director of Ørsted’s Network Services.

During WindEurope Offshore 2019, the European wind association WindEurope estimated the offshore wind plant targets for 2050 at 450GW. These objectives are aligned with the European Commission’s “Europe Green Deal”. According to sources from WindEurope and the International Energy Agency, “the targets are ambitious but achievable”. These challenges were raised only a few days before the start of the COP25 summit on climate change, which is being held in Madrid these days.

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