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Irvine tech firm provides software system for massive wind farm

Operation Technology’s ETAP Real-Time package helps keep the Colorado Green Wind Power Project online.

by lauren giudicePublished: June 14, 2011

Irvine-based Operation Technology’s ETAP Power System Software Power Management System is being employed by the 162-megawatt Colorado Green Wind Power Project in order to minimize the massive energy-generating enterprise’s downtime.

ETAP’s electrical engineering software package helps the wind farm, one of the largest in the world, to receive nonstop data. The system also reports potential threats to wind farm engineers and advises them how to diagnose and avoid a number of problems. ETAP monitors assist operators if there is an outage and tests technical adjustments before implementing them into the power grid.

Every time a wind farm goes offline, it shuts down for a significant time period. Operation Technology’s ETAP Real-Time system, however, continually monitors the electrical power in an entire wind farm’s network and utilizes several simulation features to help workers deal with any power problem. This reduces the time a wind farm is not generating electricity.

ETAP is also used in the oil, manufacturing, steel and mining industries, among others.

The Colorado Green Wind Power Project, a combined undertaking of Iberdrola Renewables and Shell Energy, uses 108 General Electric wind turbines and provides enough renewable energy to serve 52,000 homes per year.

“Stringent regulations imposed by grid operators require wind farms to guarantee a secure power supply, which necessitates state-of-the-art, open and flexible technology that goes beyond conventional power monitoring,” said Tanuj Khandelwal, director of Operation Technology’s ETAP setup. “Therefore, it is vital for wind farm owners and operators to take steps to implement an intelligent real-time system.”

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