ABB to install microgrid technology in remote parts of Alaska

Switzerland-based power and automation group ABB has been awarded a contract to install advanced modular “plug-and-play” microgrids at two remote villages in Alaska, US, to help lower costs and maximize the adoption of wind power.

The microgrids are planned to be installed at Deering and Buckland, the two small remote villages in northwestern Alaska.

ABB said in a statement: “The challenge of providing stable, reliable and affordable power has motivated many rural Arctic communities to incorporate increasing amounts of renewable resources to offset the high cost and environmental impact of diesel fuel.

“But while the flat coastal terrain is well-suited for wind generation, the wind turbines installed there, have been underutilized due to the intermittent and unstable nature of wind power.”

As part of the contract, ABB, in cooperation with the communities of Deering and Buckland, will install the advanced microgrids, which will leverage ABB Ability Microgrid Plus automation system and PowerStore storage technology.

The microgrids are capable of incorporating more renewable which would help the communities to lower costs.

ABB Power Grids division’s Grid Automation business head Massimo Danieli said: “The deployment of these innovative microgrid solutions will enhance the integration of renewable energy and enable a stronger, smarter and greener grid in these remote parts of Alaska.”

ABB said that the integration of more renewables would contribute to goal set out by local utility NANA Regional Corporation (NANA) to reduce reliance on imported diesel by up to 75% by 2030.

NANA president and CEO Wayne Qaniqsiruaq Westlake said: “Our investment in this advanced microgrid technology from ABB will enable us to maximize the contribution of clean renewable energy and reduce the use of costly diesel fuel for powering our villages and projects.

“It will also enhance the quality of life for the residents and support a sustainable energy future.”

The ABB’s advanced Microgrid Plus control solution is designed to manage the sophisticated automation of the hybrid systems. It also ensures secure power supplies with an optimal renewable energy contribution.

According to the company, the deployment of ABB’s PowerStore Battery technology is expected to help remote Alaska communities to achieve up to 100% renewable penetration.