Power generated only by sun and wind
Graciosa – “the graceful one” – is the second-smallest Azorean island and has approximately 4,500 inhabitants. On this Portuguese island, we are – in close collaboration with the Azorean power utility EDA – establishing the world’s first Megawatt-scale power system based on up to 100 percent wind and solar energy.
On Graciosa we demonstrate that renewables can be both technically and commercially superior to fossil fuels. By replacing ever more expensive Diesel- generated electricity, we will lower the cost of energy. The resulting savings from the energy conversion will be shared between Portugal and external investors, who finance this transition. This does not take into account for the CO2-savings, which will thus essentially come for free.
Shutting down the generators
As on many islands of similar size, the share of renewables on Graciosa is currently limited to only 15 percent annually. No matter how many wind turbines or photovoltaic power plants are added to the grid, the lion’s share of the electricity supply has to be produced by Diesel generators.
We break this dependence on Diesel fuel. Our intelligent power controls and our purpose-built Energy Management System make the current grid independent of conventional generators, whose rotating mass now sets the pace. Our new system combines our software with a 2.5 Megawatt battery storage system, a 5.4 Megawatt wind park and a 500 Kilowatt photovoltaic power plant. Aside from a cable linking the new wind park to the grid, new cables won’t need to be installed.
The new, hybrid power system on Graciosa can immediately use until 100 percent sun and wind power. The Diesel generators will only be needed for back-up in weeks with very poor weather conditions. This means we can cover an annual average of up to 70 percent of the island’s power demand with renewables.
Not only cleaner but also better
The island inhabitants will continue paying EDA for their power as before. However, they will benefit not only from clean, but better power quality,
since our system increases the voltage quality. Security of energy supply is
Breaking new ground – technically and commercially
Our project reduces the overall cost of energy. Unlike most wind and solar projects up to now, the transition to renewables will not be financed by a
feed-in tariff that is then borne by all electricity customers. Instead, the project company running the clean energy system will receive a portion of the money, which the Diesel fuel would have otherwise cost, creating a win-win situation for all stakeholders.
It’s all about being properly prepared
We have been working closely with EDA for many years preparing this ground-breaking project. We’ve already proven our system’s technological feasibility
in our unique test and demonstration facility at the Younicos headquarters in Berlin, Adlershof. This facility contains all the crucial components of our new hybrid system. It simulates the new energy supply on Graciosa to a scale of 1:3 using real power flows.
The implementation of the project started in 2012 and it is scheduled to be completed in 2014. In parallel, we are already working on operating the back-up system using local bio waste, implementing seasonal storage or reducing the use of the Diesel generator with the help of load management. Once that is completed, no Diesel tanker will ever need to call at the island again.