An offgrid commercial facility on Saint Croix in the US Virgin Islands is installing a hybrid microgrid to help reduce its energy costs and emissions while ensuring it has aceess to reliable power. The microgrid will combine solar power from six 33 kilowatt photovoltaic arrays, a 300 kilowatt-hour battery storage system and three existing 135 kilowatt diesel generators.
Six of Ideal Power’s Stabiliti 30C3 multiport power conversion systems will be deployed to integrate power sources, enabling bi-directional energy flow between solar, energy storage and diesel in one system. "Our technology is enabling the deployment of clean, cost-effective and efficient power generation in areas where there is no reliable grid available," said Dan Brdar, CEO of Ideal Power. "Thanks to our multiport technology, our six power conversion units will run in parallel to integrate solar, storage and diesel into a hybrid microgrid that will support cost effective power generation around the clock."
The instability of the electric grid throughout the Caribbean, combined with high electricity prices because of reliance on diesel, has hindered economic growth, according to the International Monetary Fund’s report Caribbean Energy: Macro-Related Challenges. The average price of electricity in the Caribbean is 50 cents per kilowatt-hour, while average rates in the US are about 14 cents per kilowatt-hour. As a result, companies interested in doing business throughout the Caribbean are reluctant to do so because of the additional investments needed to improve the grid and deploy reliable power sources.
"This project represents a very smart move by an off-grid business," said John Merritt, director of applications engineering at Ideal Power. "Shifting to clean energy will offset costs and enable the business to focus on providing the best experience for its customers. We are optimistic that more island businesses and residences will see the potential of renewable energy systems to boost energy conservation and save on costs.”
The development of solar and other renewable energy hybrid microgrids on the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean will reduce energy costs and cut greenhouse emissions. Other than relying on the inconsistent power from the grid, a substantial number of commercial and residential buildings use diesel generators for their source of electricity and back-up power in case of grid failure.
Ideal Power’s Stabiliti 30C3 multiport power conversion system is grid resilient and allows the combination of solar and conventional energy sources to generate and store electricity to function as a microgrid or a grid support system. The three port system functions with 50HZ and 60Hz international capability.Tweet