If there’s a problem with a wind turbine in Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, there’s a technician 9,500 kilometers away who’s soon aware of it.
The Spanish firm Iberdrola, which operates five wind farms in Mexico, is a global leader in wind energy and in efficient, remote-controlled monitoring and maintenance operations.
Four of its wind farms in Mexico are located in the Isthmus region while the fifth is in the Puebla municipality of Esperanza.
Their total output is 366 megawatts. Add the output of seven combined-cycle power generation plants and the company has “an installed capacity [to generate] 6,000 megawatts,” said Iberdrola México CEO José Enrique Alba Carcelén.
“That production is enough to meet the demand of 20 million Mexicans,” he explained.
The firm is also building two large-scale solar farms in the states of Sonora (100 megawatts) and San Luis Potosí (170 megawatts).
In order to keep its power generation plants running smoothly, Iberdrola monitors their performance remotely from its Renewable Energies Operation Center (CORE), located in Toledo, Spain, almost 10,000 kilometers away from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Each of the company’s plants and generators is equipped with a supervisory control and data acquisition system, or Scada, that sends telemetry in real time by satellite, allowing technicians to detect any operational issues and perform the necessary analyses remotely.
The five facilities in Mexico and hundreds of others located in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Brazil, the United States and Scotland are thereby monitored 24/7.
When physical intervention and onsite repairs are needed, the team of specialists can deploy technicians wherever they are needed.
The Toledo facility is the world’s largest wind energy control and operations center. Not only does it keep the turbines turning, it can also estimate the following day’s electrical output based on a meteorological forecasting system called Meteoflow.
Source: Milenio (sp)