With batteries becoming the ‘go to’ technology in small and large-scale renewable energy projects, it can only be a matter of time before prices fall and the industry reaches its tipping point.
This week, for example, wind turbine firm Gamesa has announced it has chosen lithium-ion technology for its hybrid off-grid system in La Muela, Spain.
The Spanish firm has recently begun use of a 429kW lithium battery at the 2MW prototype project, which stores wind and solar power as well as using a diesel to generate energy.
Inaugurated last May, the prototype also includes a Hybrid Power Controller (HPC) control software custom-developed by Gamesa to facilitate the four technologies.
The lithium battery is instrumental to the Gamesa G52 turbine (850 kW), 816 photovoltaic modules (245 kWp) and three 222-kW diesel generators (666 kW).
“The start-up of the lithium battery is an important step in the development of Gamesa’s off-grid proposition.
“The production of power by combining these four sources will bring down the cost of electricity in remote locations without grid access, as well as generating cleaner energy”, said David Mesonero, Gamesa’s Managing Director of Corporate Development.
Combining batteries and fossil-fuel energy generation is a growing trend in the energy storage system (ESS) industry (see our ESA story in this week’s BBB).
Last week we reported how Chinese VRLA battery maker Sacred Sun was supplying its technology for use in a hybrid micro-grid system in Tibet.
And earlier this year US utility firm Duke Energy used a hybrid-ESS at its Rankin Substation in North Carolina to support a 1.2MW solar installation.
The system uses ultracapacitors from Maxwell technologies to manage solar smoothing and a 100-kw/300kw/h Aqueous Hybrid Ion battery from Aquion Energy for load shifting.