Earlier this month Spain’s Gamesa, which has installed more than 32 gigawatts of wind power worldwide, introduced a new hybrid power plant that combines solar, wind, energy storage and diesel generators into an off-grid system that can produce up to 2 megawatts of electricity. The system could power places like remote villages, rural areas or islands or mines. The system could help
The company launched a prototype of the system in La Muela, Spain earlier this month. The prototype, which can provide enough energy for 400 families, currently includes an 850 kilowatt wind turbine, 245 kWs of solar panels and three diesel generators that together produce 666 kWs. It also includes technology to manage the energy use. The 550 kilowatt battery storage component will be added this summer. It’s likely the first off-grid system to bring all four of these technologies together at such a large scale.
"Development of this system represents another milestone in Gamesa's quest to resolve energy needs in a sustainable manner. At present, more than 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity,” said Ignacio Martín, chairman of Gamesa. “Rural areas of India, South-east Asia, Africa, islands such as Haiti, Indonesia and the Philippines, and other remote corners of the planet, such as jungles and deserts, stand to benefit from these off-grid solutions which can generate cheaper and cleaner power.”
The hybrid system is aimed at reducing dependence on diesel generators and systems can be designed to minimize diesel consumption. The system should be able to provide base load power to meet local energy needs and produce electric on an as-needed basis. Other companies, like Caterpillar are also creating renewable-energy based microgrid systems for such markets.
"Gamesa's entry into the offgrid sector represents a fresh technological challenge and a new niche opportunity: development of this class of technology is expected to reach 1,200 MW in the coming years. The advantage of our system is based on its flexibility: it can be tailored for customer needs by increasing, reducing or eliminating capacity in any of the technologies used", explained Gamesa Director of Business Development David Mesonero.
Gamesa has had some previous experience with large-scale hybrid energy systems. In 2007 it installed an off-grid system in the Galapagos Islands with three wind turbines and three diesel generators.Tweet