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Europe's renewable energy drive is opening up substantial new opportunities for innovative US companies such as Chicago-based smart grid systems provider S&C Electric, which is doubling the size of its factory in Milwaukee as a result of its growing European and overseas business portfolio.

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US Smart Grid Systems Provider Lands Scottish Wind Farm Contract

Europe’s renewable energy drive is opening up substantial new opportunities for innovative US companies such as Chicago-based smart grid systems provider S&C Electric, which is doubling the size of its factory in Milwaukee as a result of its growing European and overseas business portfolio.

Photo courtesy: EDF Renewables

Chicago’s S&C Electric Co. is capitalizing on Europe’s drive to develop its wind energy resources. S&C’s European subsidiary, S&C Electric Company Europe Ltd., has won a “multimillion-pound contract” from Electricite de France’s EDF Renewables to provide a smart grid system that will modulate the variable output of clean, renewable electricity to be produced from the Fallago Rig wind farm in the Scottish Border region south of Edinburgh, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported.

The contract is something of a coup for S&C Electric, which is competing against much larger power industry technology and equipment providers such as ABB Ltd., GE and Siemens, for work on Europe’s growing onshore and offshore wind farm project pipeline.

Europe’s Renewable Energy Drive Opens Up Opportunities for US Companies

Located in the Scottish Borders region, EDF Renewable’s Fallago Rig wind farm will be the site of some 48 wind turbines with a total rated capacity of 144 MW, enough clean, renewable electrical power to supply some 90,000 homes.

S&C’s smart grid systems technology improves “the quality of electricity, adding only a ‘couple of pence’ to its cost over the lifetime of the wind farm,” S&C Electric Europe managing director Andrew Jones told Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Sally Bakewell. The contract includes providing “all required network studies to guarantee the system meets the National Grid’s grid code requirements.”

“To guarantee Grid Code compliance, S&C will deliver a 60MVAR PureWave DSTATCOM® Distributed Static Compensator to reduce voltage variations such as sags, surges, and flicker which can result from intermittent electricity generation, along with instability caused by rapidly varying reactive power demands,” S&C explained in a press release.

Europe’s drive to meet its world-leading renewable energy targets is opening up substantial business opportunities for US companies like S&C. The Chicago-based company is doubling the size of its factory in Franklin, Milwaukee. S&C’s worked on wind projects worldwide with total capacity exceeding 2,000 MW, Jones told Blakewell, and is looking to win business in countries and markets as diverse as Greece, Romania, South Africa and Turkey.

Consultants Ernst & Young estimate that upgrading its electric grid with smart grid technology could add as much as 13 billion pounds ($21 billion) to the UK economy by 2050, Blakewell noted.

 
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I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

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