Switzerland-based power & automation multinational ABB Ltd. ABB recently secured an order from Socabelec East Africa Ltd. to stabilize power supply at the Marsabit wind farm in North Kenya. The company will be responsible for designing, supplying and installing its PowerStore flywheel microgrid stabilization solution for the hybrid plant.
Inside the Headlines
PowerStoreis a grid stabilizing generator widely used to safeguard power systems against fluctuations in frequency and voltage. Leveraging the competency of a flywheel system, ABB’s PowerStore can seamlessly integrate intermittent renewable energy with traditional grids, thereby producing the best results. Engineered to withstand even harsh environments, PowerStore boasts a robust customer base worldwide. The company has installed its technology
Kenya, naturally endowed with abundant wind energy resources, is identified as the most lucrative renewable energy market of Africa. By supplementing its existing generation capacity with additional 5,000 megawatts (MW) of power, the country aspires to multiply its energy output up to four times over the next five years. This, in turn, will help provide electric power to majority of Kenya’s 50 million inhabitants by 2020.
Marsabit’s remote location in northern Kenya makes it impossible to link it with any grid in the country. It is supported by an isolated microgrid infrastructure including diesel generators and two 275-kilowatt (kW) wind turbines. For ensuring security and stability of power supply in such an infrastructure, ABB’s PowerStore technology seems the perfect pick.
The 500-kW PowerStore stabilization system can be integrated into Marsabit’s existing network to stabilize the grid connection, thereby maximizing the generation of renewable power. The project is expected to be completed by 2016.
With more than 30 global installations to its credit, ABB has mastered the art of microgrid installation for multiple applications including islanded electrical grids, remote communities, and research & industrial campuses.
According to management, both Africa’s sustainable development and advancement of microgrid solutions are part of ABB’s Next Level strategy, which focuses on three primary areas – profitable growth, relentless execution and business-led collaboration. With regulatory authorities constantly encouraging generation of renewable energy, reduction of dependency on fossil fuels has become extremely important in the energy market. As ABB has already perfected the art of integrating wind and solar power with diesel-powered grids, more and more energy providers are likely to avail its services, going forward.
ABB currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the broader industrial goods sector include AO Smith Corp. AOS, Energous Corporation WATT and Ideal Power, Inc. IPWR. While AO Smith sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Energous Corporation and Ideal Power hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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