Emerson to automate large-scale PV solar power project in New Zealand


Friday, 17 March, 2023

Emerson to automate large-scale PV solar power project in New Zealand

Emerson has announced that it will provide advanced automation solutions to help ensure the safety and reliability of New Zealand’s first large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power project. Emerson will help solar energy company Lodestone Energy complete its two 23 MW sites at Kaitaia and Edgecumbe — an important step in supporting New Zealand’s ambitious goals of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Efficiently generating and delivering solar PV power requires precise orchestration, integrating a wide variety of third-party systems with automation and control technology to provide operators with comprehensive visibility. Emerson said its automation architecture will combine control software and technologies with enterprise data solutions to create an integrated, scalable control solution to maximise output and profitability while simultaneously contributing to grid stability.

“New Zealand’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is an ambitious endeavour that will require many renewable power generation sources to be safely and rapidly brought online,” said Peter Apperley, general manager of engineering at Lodestone Energy. “Emerson’s expertise in automation software for power generation and sustainability will help us more quickly build a world-class facility, while also more seamlessly integrating with the national grid to drive successful, efficient operation over the lifecycle of the plant.”

Lodestone will be employing Emerson’s Ovation distributed control system and OCR3000 controller to minimise the impact of variability and intermittency in solar PV power generation. The same technologies will also make it easier for operators to quickly respond to grid frequency events. Ovation enterprise data solutions will provide secure monitoring of solar PV operations from the control room or mobile devices, measuring, monitoring and reporting key performance indicators to increase visibility of plant operations.

“Meeting New Zealand’s renewable energy goals will require power generation companies to rethink the way they operate, democratising data and increasing visibility for everyone across the enterprise,” said Bob Yeager, president of Emerson’s power and water business. “Lodestone’s strategy perfectly aligns with Emerson’s automation vision of an advanced technology stack leveraging integrated, scalable control to provide access to critical data not only across the plant and industrial edge, but also throughout the enterprise.”

Lodestone’s solar PV project requires multiple interfaces to third-party systems, including inverters, high-voltage switchboards, weather stations, site security systems and grid authority remote terminal units. Ovation will act as a central point to seamlessly connect these devices to provide fast and intuitive visibility for operators, the company said.

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