The Prime Minister of Portugal, Dr. António Costa, as well as the President of the Azorean Government, Dr. Vasco Cordeiro, and other high-level country officials have today visited the world’s first megawatt-scale grid-forming renewable energy system, which is currently being constructed on the Azorean island of Graciosa. They were joined by executives from EDA, the island’s utility, system architect Younicos, Swiss company Leclanché, the battery energy storage system provider, as well as Recharge, the Danish majority investor in the project.
Replacing an average of 65 percent of fossil fuel
The visit enabled Younicos to showcase the capabilities and benefits of the groundbreaking project. The “island-mode” capability of the project’s intelligent battery system will enable up to 100 percent spontaneous renewable energy generation, making it possible for the Portuguese island to replace an average of 65 percent of its fossil fuel power with cheaper and cleaner renewable energy – saving millions of euros and tons of CO2. This system can be easily replicated on other islands with the same kind of benefits, and the same technology can be used to support mainland grids.
“We are honored to host these distinguished officials and guests and give them an up-close look at the future of renewable energy-based systems,” said Stephen Prince, Younicos CEO. “This island is breathtakingly beautiful – even more so now that its electricity can be generated primarily from abundant natural resources like wind and solar. Our intelligent software controls are the key to capitalizing on renewables, maintaining grid resilience, reducing emissions and saving money.”
An island powered by wind and sun
A 1-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic power plant and 3.2 MWh of lithium-ion batteries have already been installed on the island. A 4.5 MW wind park is currently under construction. Once the system is completed Younicos software and controls will enable the grid-forming battery power plant provided by Leclanché to balance short-term power fluctuations, allowing the island to be powered by wind and solar energy – with existing diesel assets needed only for back-up power during prolonged periods of unfavorable weather. Commissioning is expected in summer 2016.