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ABB upgrades control system for five New Zealand hydros

The ABB power and automation technology group is performing a control system upgrade for five New Zealand hydroelectric projects totaling 501 MW that are operated by Genesis Energy.

The New Zealand utility awarded a NZ$9.8 million (US$7.6 million) contract to ABB to design, construct, and commission the system upgrade. The work is to require two to three years.

Work includes the 240-MW Tokaanu and 120-MW Rangipo projects on the Tongariro River, and the 60-MW Tuai, 44-MW Piripaua, and 37-MW Kaitawa projects on the Waikaremoana River.

ABB is replacing the existing system with its Industrial IT System 800xA. The system is to include an extended operator workplace with features including ergonomic flexibility to adjust to customer specifications, and increased screen and projector adaptability.

The system is to provide a single operations and engineering environment helping monitor each turbine as well as frequency and voltage of energy output. ABB also is providing condition monitoring and vibration analysis systems as part of the upgrade.

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