The Challenges Faced in the Process of the Integration of Small and Medium Size Hydro Power Plants on the Distribution Network in Albania
The main focus of this paper is to address issues related with the impact of the small and medium size hydro power plants connected to the distribution network in Albania, respectively, to 35, 20, 10 and 6 kV distribution network. Considering the significant positive impact in generation they have had also an impact on the distribution system as far as the technical and financial aspects of the distribution network are concerned. The results of the analysis performed indicates that the Middle and South-East areas have been impacted from the deployment of hydro power plants in these area due to the increased power injected from these hydro power plants. Referring to the topology of the network, load demand, constrains and amortization of the distribution network, difficulties faced with the maintenance of the feeders and substations in the subject, this situation has created some problems and issues in respect of very high levels of the voltage in the substations during the minimum load consumption, overloaded of the distribution network as well as frequent outages of lines and feeders in some areas. The analyse performed supports the necessity of reinforcement of the network and the need of clear and strict rules to be followed in respect of connection point of hydro power plants into the distribution network, in order to guarantee a reliable and secured operation of the network and to contribute to the improvement of the performance indicators of the distribution network.