With the commissioning of Kemijoki Oy’s refurbished Kurkiaska hydropower plant, VEO’s hybrid turbine governor (VEO-eHPG) is in operational use for the first time. The unique solution not only allows for enhanced grid frequency support by combining hydropower production with energy-storage solutions, it also significantly prolongs the service life of the turbine.
Kemijoki Oy produces one third of Finland’s total hydropower and is thus the most important producer of regulating power in the country. In connection to the modernisation of its Kurkiaska hydropower plant, Kemijoki decided to let VEO integrate an energy-storage system to the plant utilising VEO’s latest innovation, the hybrid turbine governor (VEO-eHPG).
“The importance of hydropower as a regulating power source keeps growing as the energy transition progresses, with a growing proportion of fluctuating production such as wind and solar power in the electricity system. An energy storage system utilising VEO’s hybrid turbine governor enhances the adjustability of the power plant and reduces wear and tear on the machinery. This improves hydropower production and production reliability. Cooperation with VEO has proceeded excellently throughout the project, and it has been great to work together to strengthen the production of renewable and environment-friendly hydroelectric power,” says Aleksi Sarajärvi, Project Manager at Kemijoki Oy.
The VEO-eHPG has been developed inhouse at VEO for several years and maximises the reserve production capacity of a plant, thereby maintaining and futureproofing its abilities to meet the tightening frequency support requirements.
The solution is unique on the hydropower market as it is the first of its kind which genuinely combines an energy storage with the frequency reserve regulation of a hydropower turbine.
“With support from the energy storage, our hybrid governor optimises and minimises the need for the mechanical regulation of the turbine. This significantly improves the quality of the electricity produced and prolongs the service life of the turbine”, explains Juha Mäki, Sales Manager, Hydropower at VEO.
In addition to the hybrid turbine governor, VEO’s turnkey delivery included the integration of the governor and a super capacitor-based energy storage system into the power plant’s systems.
“We are proud of the work our automation team has done when developing the VEO-eHPG. It brings substantial added value to our clients and it will be an important contributor in the green transition. Energy storage solutions are important when an increased level of fluctuating renewable energy sources are introduced to the grid, and the VEO-eHPG is a significant balancing element in this equation”, Mäki concludes.
“We are proud of the work our automation team has done when developing the VEO-eHPG. It brings substantial added value to our clients and it will be an important contributor in the green transition.”