In October last year, the South American country of Isabela, on the island of Cologne, Ecuador, operated hybrid solar + energy storage facilities, the world's first 100% renewable energy island power system.
The project, costing $13 million, is part of the government's policy on the zero-fossil fuel project in the Cologne Islands. The main components of the project are mainly from four institutions in three countries: Trina, a manufacturer in Changzhou, China, provides more than 3,000 polycrystalline PV modules with a solar power capacity of 952 kW; the German manufacturer SMA provides central inverters. South Korea's Samsung SDI provides energy storage systems with capacities of 660 kWh and 330 kWh respectively; the island also produces Jatropha plant oil, a biodiesel that powers five enhanced generator sets with a total capacity of 1.62 MW, Siemens operates the relevant inverter battery and project control system.
Fuel free transportation
Hybrid solar + energy storage facilities will form a circulatory system that eliminates the cost of fuel transportation because the gap in renewable energy can be filled by vegetable oil generators. However, this vegetable oil is produced by hand and the yield may increase, so it may be economically consumed. On the other hand, this decentralized renewable energy solution can eliminate the risk of diesel leakage during transportation and avoid ship accidents.
In fact, this project was planned as early as three years ago, when the price of energy storage was very expensive, so the energy storage element of this project was minimized. Siemens said: "If this project is built now, it will definitely be much cheaper than before, and it may be about 25% cheaper."
Siemens' control system is key to the project as it is responsible for dispatching electricity, ensuring a sustainable supply to the community and providing high quality electricity to the island's grid. Although the islanders were initially skeptical about the system, they could not escape the "true incense law" and the feedback was very good. While vegetable oil generators barely work during the day, the voltage and off-grid parameters are still very stable. The hybrid solar + energy storage system has benefited about 3,500 people on the island and has become the only power source on the island. Since the system was in operation, the number of power outages on the island has almost disappeared.
The four companies that have generated this power have their own strengths in their respective fields, which further proves the increasingly refined division of labor in the energy technology field and the global development trend of solar energy and energy storage.