AES Tietê is first power producer in Brazil to adopt distributed control system architecture for its hydropower assets
PITTSBURGH (July 30, 2013) — Emerson Process Management has been awarded contracts totaling nearly US$9 million to modernize the controls of multiple hydropower plants and a dispatch center for AES Tietê in Brazil. Adopting Emerson’s Ovation™ control and SCADA technology as a common automation platform for these facilities will help the power producer boost unit reliability, flexibility and efficiency.
AES Tietê, a subsidiary of AES Brazil, is the first power generator in Brazil to adopt a distributed control system automation architecture for its hydropower fleet. Hydropower is the predominant power source in the country, accounting for approximately 80 percent of the power generated there.
One of the largest private producers of electricity in Brazil, AES Tietê operates a fleet of 12 hydropower plants with an installed capacity of 2,658 MW in the state of São Paulo. Outdated controls based on proprietary technology from a variety of vendors made it difficult for AES Tietê to find spare parts and integrate the controls with other equipment and devices, negatively impacting unit efficiency and reliability.
“Our existing PLC-based controls were outdated and difficult to maintain. We were looking for a solution that would not only address these issues immediately but also provide value over the long term,” said Ítalo Freitas, director, AES Tiete. “Emerson’s Ovation technology offered the embedded intelligence, reliability and maintainability we consider essential to the efficient operation of our hydropower units and our ability to meet grid requirements.”
Most recently, Emerson was awarded contracts to modernize controls at AES Tietê’s Generation Operations Center, Agua Vermelha hydropower plant, and Barra Bonita hydropower plant Unit 1.
Emerson will install a SCADA system for AES Tietê’s Generation Operations Center in Bauru, as well as a back-up system roughly 40 miles away at the utility’s Bariri hydropower plant. Operators will use the system to monitor and control the generating units and spillways of 12 hydropower plants located along the Rio Grande, Tietê and Pardo rivers.
As part of this system, Emerson will provide dispatch and optimization software for generation management, which includes load scheduling, cascade control and economic dispatch. The system will also manage communication with Brazil’s national electric grid operator, Operador Nacional do Sistema Elétrico (ONS). The first two hydropower plants are expected to communicate with the central dispatch center later this year.
Because cyber security was an important consideration for AES Tietê, the Operations Center will also take advantage of Emerson’s Ovation Security Center, which streamlines management of applications such as security event collection, malware prevention and detection, patch deployment and audit, threat identification, and data back-up and recovery.
Agua Vermelha is AES Tietê’s largest Brazilian hydropower plant, at 1.4 GW (6 x 233 MW). At this plant, Emerson’s Ovation control system will directly control the turbine and balance-of-plant equipment and processes, including wicket gates and the cooling system. By controlling plant processes and regulating turbine speed, the Ovation system will help ensure precise frequency control and smooth synchronization to the grid.
Emerson is also providing its Ovation Security Center for the Agua Vermelha facility, as well as replacing the plant’s electro-mechanical controls and supplying a CSI 6300 SIS digital overspeed protection system for the turbines. The contract also includes AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, which arms maintenance and operations personnel with valuable insight into asset health in order to minimize downtime and unplanned outages.
Emerson is performing a similar controls retrofit at Barra Bonita hydropower plant’s 36-MW Unit 1. Emerson received these latest contracts based on the successful completion of controls retrofit projects at the 44-MW Ibitinga units 1 and 3.
Replacing disparate PLC-based controls and outdated SCADA systems with Emerson’s Ovation control and SCADA technology is part of AES Tietê’s comprehensive, long-term initiative to modernize its fleet of hydropower plants, many of which were built in the 1960s and 1970s. The Ovation control and SCADA technology will also help AES Tiete comply with ONS regulations.
“Replacing obsolete controls with a common automation platform provides opportunities for tighter overall control, improved plant performance and reliability, and more efficient operator deployment and training,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson Process Management’s Power & Water Solutions. “AES Tietê clearly understands the value of a long-term approach to automation planning, and their adoption of a common, integrated control platform will help them improve fleet operations for years to come.”