SMA Storage Solution turns the lights back on in Taiwan
On March 3, 2022, a serious power outage in Taiwan, happened. More than five million households and 500 industrial businesses were affected. Thanks to the SMA battery inverter, however, they were quickly back on the grid and supplied with power. The example clearly shows the importance of storage solutions in grids with an increasing share of renewable energies.
For the island nation of Taiwan, the power outage on March 3, 2022, was one of the most severe since the earthquake on September 21, 1999. A total of 5.49 million households – nearly 40 % of Taiwan – lost power. The semiconductor, optoelectronics, petrochemical, and steel industries all suffered disruptions. Financial and economic losses are estimated to be in the tens of billions of Taiwanese Dollars (TWD 10 billion equivalent to around €300 million).
Chain reaction in the power grid
According to the power plant operator Taipower, on the morning of March 3, 2022, an equipment failure in the Hsinta Power Plant in Kaohsiung made every generator south of a certain extra high voltage substation in Tainan being disconnected from the power grid. Since Taiwan’s entire power grid is interconnected, a malfunction at a single plant can lead to a chain reaction that has repercussions across the island. As a result, the power grid lost a third of its capacity.
Maintaining grid stability in real time
With the help of the SMA Storage Solution including the battery inverter Sunny Central Storage, the Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC) secured frequency regulation backup auxiliary services and prevented worst scenarios by providing the maximum power of 5,000 kW. The SMA Storage Solution discharged to a maximum of 5,000 kW within 300 seconds.
At 09:16:24 local time the AFC system reported an instant drop of the grid frequency down to 58.81 Hz. The SMA Sunny Central Storage 2900 discharged the maximum power of 5,000 kW within the shortest time. Only twelve seconds later, the grid frequency increased to 59.52 Hz, as while the discharge power came to decrease.
Providing safe and stable grids with renewable energies
The average service performance measure (SPM) of this energy storage system always exceeded 99% since this storage power plant was in operation in March 2021. Within the high SPM data, the system has already become the highest operating rate and compliance rate of AFC energy storage systems in Taiwan.
Blackout exposed the electrical grid’s vulnerability
Since the SMA Storage Solution offered the AFC system to maintain grid stability during this massive power outage, this incident illustrates the relevance of electricity storage for grid stability. And not only for grids that already consist largely of renewable energy producers. But also in countries like Taiwan that are expanding the share of green power. Due to the limited land in Taiwan, the entire area shares one nationwide power grid. Therefore, an incident at any one plant could affect the whole country. However, as Taiwan pumps more and more renewable energy into its grid, it does make sense to build storage facilities around the island to help save up all the excessive energy for rainy days. Another challenge is the fact that the Taiwanese power grid is unstable, as there are no regional power grids that link the whole area. The power can only flow vertically without horizontal area supports. These conditions require the installation of storage solutions, which basically stabilize the grid and quickly provide enough voltage again in an emergency.
The example of Taiwan shows that SMA Storage Solutions can help stabilize power grids everywhere (see info box SMA Grid Forming Solutions). Especially when the share of renewable energy is expanded and more and more central power plants are taken off the grid. Together with SMA inverters, the electricity storage systems take on grid-building functions that are essential for a reliable power supply.
I am interested in your inverter made in Tatwan and want to go to see you
Please find here the contact details for SMA Asia.
Nice article, although poorly written
Sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with our article.
In case you have a question or you need technical support, please let us know.