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CECOER: A watchful eye

01/14/2014

ACCIONA's Renewable Energy Control Center (CECOER) is the "all-seeing eye", the guarantee that any event occurring at over 360 electricity installations in 17 countries worldwide is detected immediately and brought under control.

ACCIONA's Renewable Energy Control Center (CECOER) is the "all-seeing eye", the guarantee that any event occurring at over 360 electricity installations in 17 countries worldwide is detected immediately and brought under control.

This state-of-the-art center is indispensable to the optimal operation of ACCIONA's electricity generating stations and those our clients have trusted us to manage. CECOER is our crucial ally in ensuring that electricity from renewable energy sources can be safely and efficiently integrated into national grids the world over. Everything here can be reached in two, three or four mouse clicks: the direction and speed of the wind at any of our international plants; the real and reactive power produced; current and past production figures; new incidents and those still being resolved. We can stop and start any machine, check all its variables, detect any faults and resolve the problem on 60% of occasions… all from this center. And where the Center cannot deal directly with the fault, it serves to warn the plant's operation and maintenance personnel about the problem.

The ACCIONA Energy Control Center is responsible for electrical capacity equivalent to 10 nuclear power stations

And all this can currently be performed in real-time on four continents, whatever the generating technology. Few things are as remarkable as seeing the variables of a wind turbine in Australia or South Korea, for example, change every two or three seconds, showing the state of the machine at any moment. The beauty of the CECOER is it allows us to check if production is adjusted to forecasts. Where there is a need to correct these forecasts, to adapt them to the reality on the ground, we collaborate with national grid operators in the countries in which we work to help assure the secure operation of the system.

All this happens in a room of 100 square meters, where 70 operators work round-the-clock on every day a year to monitor ACCIONA's electricity generation activity. The Center controls plants representing in the last quarter of 2013 some 10,000 MW of electrical capacity, equivalent to 10 mid-sized nuclear stations, making CECOER the biggest renewable energy control center in Spain and one of the biggest in the world.

CECOER functions

1. CONTROL OF GENERATING STATIONS

  • 362 electricity generating plants supervised in six technologies.
  • 289 substations controlled, performing voltage transformation.
  • 750 km of high-voltage overhead lines.

2. OPERATION OF STATIONS

  • More than a million incidents managed per year.
  • Remote-controlled resolution of 60% of them.
  • Coordination of in-situ assistance for the other incidents.

3. INTEGRATION OF ELECTRICITY INTO THE GRID

  • Interaction with national grid operators (REE in Spain).
  • Compliance with station connection requirements.
  • Outage management (disconnection of installations).

4. PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

  • Wind, water and solar radiation forecasts through neural networks (constantly fed with new data).
  • 25,000 sales-oriented production schedules a year.
  • Very low production deviation rates (7%).

5. INFORMATION STORAGE AND ANALYSIS

  • Improves the profitability of the assets.
  • Increases plant availability (98%).

Over 10,000 MW

At the end of 2013, CECOER had under its wing electricity generating facilities in 17 countries on four continents, representing a total of 9,652 MW.

This will rise to over 10,000 MW in 20 countries on five continents when the ACCIONA and client-owned installations under construction in 2013 are completed, as reflected in the map on these pages.

Wind farms owned by ACCIONA Energy and its subsidiaries, managed from the Center -a total 231 at present- represent 7,158 MW, whereas 27 farms owned by clients- all of them using ACCIONA Windpower wind turbine generators - add up to 1,011 MW. Wind power makes up 85% of the capacity overseen by CECOER.

CECOER also has delegated control centers in Mexico, Australia and the USA, which perform the activity to the same quality standards and processes as HQ, and which permit CECOER to distribute the workload to different centers according to operational needs at any given time.

As well as generating stations, CECOER controls voltage transformation substations in their immediate vicinities and overhead lines transporting the electricity produced to the national networks.

258   80   6   3   5   10
Wind farms with 8,169MW capacity   hydroelectric stations, totaling 912MW   solar thermal plants, adding up to 314MW of capacity   PV solar plants (48MWp)   biomass
plants
(65MW)
  cogeneration stations (144MW)

Forecasting production

Renewable energies, which use variable resources such as the wind, water and the sun to produce electricity, need an accurate forecasting system for what they are going to produce at any moment. In this way, penalties levied by grid operators, for deviations from generation schedules, are avoided.

ACCIONA Energy has its own forecasting system which works off meteorological models and in-house networks that incorporate information about and from each installation.

Forecasting experts calculate the expected production from each asset, hour-by-hour, and operational and maintenance engineers adjust the forecasts according to the availability situation on the ground. The production schedules come out of this process, which are communicated to the market and grid operators (OMEL and REE, in Spain).

In other countries, a similar procedure, adapted to their specific regulations, is followed. The scheduling is generally done in advance, for each of the 24 hours of the following day, and the company has several opportunities to correct its initial predictions.

Integration of wind power into the grid

When Spain's REE brought its Special Regime Control Center (CECRE) on line in 2006, the CECOER became the first delegated center in what proved to be an important step in integrating the maximum production from renewable energies into the Spanish electricity system under secure conditions. Other initiatives later contributed to this, allowing some technologies such as wind to cover electricity demand at levels that were unthinkable just a few years ago. CECOER, like other control centers, sends data relating to real (active) and reactive power, voltage, connectivity, temperature, wind directions and speeds from each wind farm to CECRE every 12 seconds. With this data, REE calculates the wind power production that can be brought into the electricity system at any moment and if necessary sends instructions for reductions in the amount being poured into the grid. Such a degree of control allows Spain to integrate into its system the maximum possible amount of wind-generated electricity. Now this dynamic has been extended on a global scale, obliging CECOER to carry out daily monitoring of compliance with grid connection requirements in each country.

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