EV charging in the Faroe Islands: improving grid stability with a proven charging solution

SEV is the main electricity producer and the only distributor in the Faroe Islands and has full responsibility for the islands’ energy production and supply. Given the Island’s remote location in the North, SEV cannot purchase electricity from neighbouring countries, giving the company full responsibility for producing enough electricity to meet the electricity demand and keeping the grid stable at all times.

Short distances make electric vehicles particularly suitable for residents of the Faroe Islands, but having an utterly self-sufficient power generation can present some challenges to the national grid. Using Etrel’s technology, SEV now provides nearly 700 public charging points and provides residents with charging stations for home use without the threat of disrupting the power grid.

Etrel INCH charging stations are designed for complex charging locations and can power up to 300 electric vehicles on a single site with a limited power supply. Embracing the Interactive Charging framework, Etrel INCH charging stations offer Autonomous Frequency Regulation functionality. Frequency regulation allows chargers to rapidly respond to grid conditions quickly and minimise charging power when needed to help stabilise the grid at times of excess demand.

During periods of high volatility, the Frequency Response feature enables SEV to balance power demand to local energy production and avoid power outages. Frequency depends on the balance between production and consumption in the power grid. When consumption exceeds production, the frequency falls below the nominal value and vice versa; when the production exceeds consumption, the frequency can rise above the nominal value. In order to bring the frequency back to the optimal value, either the consumption or the production must be adjusted.

Charging EVs present a significant but dynamic load in the grid. Etrel INCH chargers can manage these load autonomously and help balance out grid frequency. Each charging station measures the frequency value several times per second at the charger level and automatically responds to the reading when the value deviates from the nominal value for pre-set number of measurements. If the system frequency is lower than the nominal value, the charging current will be reduced. The nominal value of the frequency in the power system can be different and is usually defined as 50 Hz.

SEV also uses Etrel OCEAN charge point management software to manage and control their charge points all over the Faroe Islands. With all private, semi-public, and public charge points connected to a single back office, SEV will be able to exercise area load management and flexibility operations via the cloud-based solution in the future.

At SEV, we are managing a microgrid, and we are committed to run on 100% renewable power by 2030. We are aware of the potential of electric transportation, as well as the risks of unmanaged EV charging. For this purpose, we are using only Etrel smart charging equipment for all our AC charging needs on the islands.