Top 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel-Hybrid + Microgrids) – September 2016 by THEnergy

The September edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” features Carnegie Wave Energy, redT energy, Enercon, Vestas, ViZn Energy, Jabil Inala, Australian Vanadium, VSUN, Gildemeister, Siemens, and ENEL. Energy storage is more and more the driver for remote microgrids and storage manufacturers play an increasingly active and important role in the microgrid sector. Storage also can be an attractive alternative to grid-extensions in the off-grid and weak-grid area. For this edition, we have collected statements from four different CEOs about key aspects of the selected news.

Top 1

Wave, solar and storage to power Western Australian island

Carnegie Wave Energy is set to design and build the world’s first renewable energy island microgrid that includes wave energy generation as part of the mix. The AUD 7.5 million project on Garden Island off the coast of Perth, Western Australia, will involve the construction and integration of 2MW of PV solar capacity and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery storage system, coupled with Carnegie’s CETO6 off-shore wave energy generation technology.

It will be interesting to see which role wave power will play in the energy mix of islands. Michael Ottaviano, CEO of  Carnegie Wave Energy, points out: “Wave energy offers another clean alternative energy source in renewable energy microgrids with a different generation profile from wind or solar which will have the net effect of providing a more stable and consistent microgrid output with less battery storage required. We see the market opportunity initially attractive for off grid coastal communities and island nations to procure a system that is cleaner, cheaper and more reliable and secure than the current diesel alternative.”

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Top 2

redT energy provides Scottish island with 1.68 MWh flow battery storage system

The storage system will enable Gigha's island community to generate electricity from a fourth 330kW turbine without applying a constraint on the voltage. Currently the Enercon-made turbine is limited to 225kW. Gigha's three original Vestas V27 turbines, with a combined capacity of 675kW, comprise one of Scotland's first community wind farms.

The microgrid on Gigha island is connected to the mainland via an undersea cable. The new storage system enables the island to add solar PV and tidal stream generators in the future without expensive grid expansion works. Scott McGregor, CEO of redT energy, comments: “By using large scale energy storage machines, such as redT’s, island inhabitants can avoid expensive grid connection update work and remove existing constraints on their generation. In addition to this, industrial scale, stationary energy storage can allow excess energy to be exported back to the grid to generate additional revenue.

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Top 3 

Flow battery manufacturer ViZn Energy and EPC Jabil Inala will target the African microgrid market

ViZn Energy will offer its battery systems as a diesel generator alternative focusing on microgrid, agricultural and remote mining applications. Manufacturing giant Jabil purchased Inala in January to facilitate its own entry into the African market.

Ron Van Dell, CEO ViZn Energy, comments on the fit of their storage system for off-grid applications: “Remote power applications are essentially mini-electrical grids and they need a 20-year energy storage component that can virtually eliminate diesel usage while providing a mix of long duration energy and short duration power services. ViZn is uniquely suited for these applications.

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Top 4

Australian Vanadium Limited sells CellCube vanadium redox-flow storage system to power farm microgrid in Australia

The battery is a 100kWh CellCube built by Gildemeister and installed by Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) subsidiary VSUN. It will store the energy from a solar PV system. The Western Australian farm near Busselton decided for solar plus battery storage to avoid a new connection to the grid.

One interesting aspect is that Australian Vanadium was once a pure mining company that has integrated vertically and now also sells storage systems to end-customers. Vincent Algar, CEO of Australian Vanadium Limited points out: “All new storage technologies require a component of natural resources. For vanadium used in long-duration redox flow batteries this is particularly true. Australian Vanadium is focused on the efficient integration of vanadium from source material, through to preparation of electrolyte “fuel” and finally, development of the potential market for commercial battery systems.

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Top 5

Siemens has integrated a battery storage system on behalf of Enel into the island microgrid of Ventotene

The new lithium-ion battery-based storage system provides 500kW of output, and capacity of 600kWh. The Mediterranean island is disconnected from the Italian national power grid and power has until now been provided by four diesel generators and distributed residential solar power plants. The new battery storage system uses integrated converters to stabilise frequency and voltage fluctuations, and balance the island network. An intelligent control unit, developed with Enel, manages supply and demand within the system, and allows the diesel generators to be used more efficiently as short-term peak loads are covered by power from the storage system.

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