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ABB technology powers soccer club’s Skagerak Arena in Norway

25 June 2019

First-of-its-kind energy project Skagerak Energilab with solar-powered microgrid and advanced grid automation provides insights for the power grid of the future

The word “team” takes a new meaning as the clean solar powered floodlights are switched on, and the home game begins, with fans watching and cheering in Odd soccer club’s Skagerak Arena in Skien, Norway, when their local football team will be playing. Skien has approximately 55,000 inhabitants.                      

This project is based on an unusual combination at a soccer club, where soccer experts work with technology specialists. Odds soccer club wants to be the greenest soccer club in Europe and its Skagerak Arena deployed the latest power technology to integrate renewables in the urban community by using microgrids and energy storage capabilities.

“This project kicked off with a wild idea that it must be possible to use the roof of our arena for something useful,” said Einar Håndlykken, managing director of Odd’s Ballklubb. “Now, I hope this solution inspires others with a large roof to collaborate with those developing our energy systems.”

Included as part of the new energy lab, is the entire rooftop of the Skagerak Arena that is covered with 5,700 square meters of solar modules, with a nominal power of 800 kWp. The battery and the energy management system ensure maximum use of renewable power even when there is low light. The photovoltaic system not only powers floodlights, it also provides the neighborhood with locally produced electricity. What’s more, it allows the utility to collect insights into how a “prosumer” system – where consumers both produce and consume electricity – operates under different conditions.

“The energy industry is developing, both within production and distribution. Skagerak Energilab is an important project because through this, we will gain practical experience of how such local production plays together with the established network,” said Knut Barland, CEO of Skagerak Energi.

ABB inaugurated the energy lab in collaboration with Skagerak Energi. It designed and executed the project with ABB AbilityTMPVS solar string inverters and ABB Ability™ e-mesh™ technology, including an Energy Management System (EMS). The solution will allow Skagerak Energi to run an optimum load dispatch scenario by using load forecasts and PV production, and by taking electricity price developments into consideration. ABB will also be providing its technical services to the energy lab for the next five years.

“Skagerak Energilab is a good example of how grid edge technology transforms the power ecosystem,” said Steffen Waal, managing director of ABB in Norway. “This is an important step toward obtaining field data and insights about tomorrow’s power grids.”

ABB Ability™ e-mesh™ is an all-in-one automation and control solution that gives grid operators a vertically integrated single cockpit view of their distributed energy resources (DERs) such as microgrids, battery energy storage systems (BESS) and renewable generation plants. ABB Ability e-mesh EMS is applicable for premises or for fleets. The e-mesh portfolio extends from modular energy storage and microgrids to plant device control, cloud services and advanced analytics for decision making and bespoke applications. ABB is a pioneer in microgrid technology and BESS, with an installed base of microgrids and BESS that aggregates to more than 450 MW worldwide and over 170 installations serving remote communities, islands, utilities and industrial campuses.

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