XM making technological upgrades to assess the Colombian electricity system

Renovation of the Colombian electricity system

By Energía16

09/07/2018

The Colombian electricity system is formed by different sectors that meet the demand using primary sources. Local businesses and contractors seek to expand this area. One of said enterprises is XM, current operator of the National Interconnected System and administrator of Colombia’s Wholesale Energy Market. The company is a subsidiary of ISA that is committing to technology as the novelty in the sector.

In a statement released by XM and quoted by El Espectador and AmericaEconomía.com, it revealed it has launched a new plan. The energy company has activated a National Dispatch Center’s Control Unit. The move is aimed at “turning it into the heart and brain of the Colombian electricity system.”

Assessing the Colombian Electricity System

The new center will be a place from which “to plan, assess, and coordinate the operation of the National Interconnected System to meet the country’s energy demand,” the statement reads.

Sale, distribution, transmission, and generation are the core of the Colombian electricity system. The new Control Center will seek to interact with operators from 122 companies. Said enterprises will include generating plants, transporters, and distributors.

The goal is that each company supervises the operation of over 26,000 km of power lines. It is important to incorporate 26 communication links and 206 generation plants in them, each connected to 249 energy substations located throughout the national territory.

The company is seeking to apply a simple dynamic. During the system’s assessment, it receives 26,000 variables every 4 seconds. This method uses over 55,000 maneuvers per year, in coordination with interconnection operations with Ecuador and Venezuela.

Novelties and technology in the Colombian electricity system

The fact that the system has also been updated from a technological viewpoint constitutes a novelty in the sector. The report stresses that the Control Center will have “two hardware and software updates every 4 years”. You may wonder about the use of this modality. The answer is simple: it is used to upgrade the latest available update. Furthermore, it will help face the operation’s challenges and maintain an integrated control of the National Interconnected System’s resources up to 2030.

The country’s energy demand will be coordinated using this new technology. It will receive 15,000 indicators every four seconds. Nonetheless, there are talks of increasing this capacity to receive up to 200,000. The complex is located Loma de Los Balsos, in the South East region of Medellín, at the offices of Expertos del Mercado (XM). Thanks to the fifteen thousand signals broadcasted by the measuring units integrated into the system, it is possible to check the status of the Colombian grid.

XM Manager Maria Nohemo Arboleda explained that the intention is to prepare Colombia for a more innovative instrument. The electricity market is essential for the country’s energy development. She also added that “acquiring this technology required an investment of 18 billion pesos”. Arboleda assured that this will be the NDC’s fourth renovation, which had international consulting and university and internal research to adapt to the company’s needs, El Colombiano reported.

“We believe that the regulator has been creating policies that allow integrating new technologies. This enables to apply the available tools and turn the transformation into a reality, Arboleda said.

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