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Itaipu Hydroelectric Station


The Itaipu Dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric power producing plant in terms of the annual energy generated, approximately 100 TWh. The Dam is a binational operation between Brazil and Paraguay, with the 20 generators being split equally between the two countries. This installation alone accounts for 90% of the electricity consumed by Paraguay and 20% of that consumed by Brazil.

10 Generators produce electricity at 50 Hz for Paraguay and the remaining 10 generators at 60 Hz for Brazil. There is sufficient spare capacity on the Paraguay generators that a large part of it is exported to Brazil. To facilitate this, a pair of HVDC overhead line was built between the Itaipu Dam and a HVDC converter station at Ibiuna in the state of São Paulo. Both these lines operate at +/-600kV and are 807 km and 818 km long respectively and are designed to carry 3150 MW.


HVDC was chosen because of the frequency difference between the Paraguay and the Brazil electricity networks and to reduce transmission losses. A power line carrier communication network is in place between the two sides, utilising repeating stations en-route.

The HVDC equipment was installed by Asea of Sweden, now ABB, in 1985.


Recently Furnas Centrais Electricas, the operator of the HVDC site at Foz do Iguaçu, next to the Itaipu Dam, decided to upgrade their Supervisory and Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to a more modern platform. Telvent was selected as the supplier for the SCADA system and
Netcontrol was selected as the supplier for the substation gateway between the Telvent system and the ABB RTU’s.

Netcontrol is a world class provider of Substation Gateway solutions and has vast experience in providing solutions to bridge the gap between multiple vendor systems on the SCADA side and multiple vendors on the RTU and Protection side.


A fully redundant solution was provided using the Netcontrol Gateway running their renowned NFE software. The gateways provided the vital link between the Asea RTUs running ADLP80 and the SCADA system running IEC60870-5-104. The Netcontrol Gateway also connected to a NTP GPS server in order to perform time synchronisation and time stamping.

As well as providing the redundant gateway system, Netcontrol also provided their low latency serial line splitters, the Netcon SLS and in order to connect to the Asea DS803 RTUs their Netcon MPC (bit stream converters).

Upon recent visit to the site the Control Engineer confirmed the units have been running flawlessly and they had complete confidence in the Netcontrol Gateway products.

Netcontrol are specialised in providing substation gateway solutions and have over two decades of expereince in integrating complex solutions for new and refurbished substations. With over 50 protocols available within the NFE operating system and expereince of RTU’s, Protection Relays and SCADA Systems from a huge pool of vendors we provide the much need interface and expereince for the modern substation environment.