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5MW off-grid PV-diesel hybrid plant with battery storage to be built in Bolivia

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 16:16 -- Laura Varriale
PV plant

A 5MW solar-diesel hybrid power plant connected battery storage is to be installed in Bolivia's Pando province.

Solely diesel generators are currently powering the remote area, located 4,000 metres above sea level and not connected to Bolivia's national grid. The 5MW solar plant is designed to meet half of Pando's capital city Cobija's power demand. The city has 45,000 residents.

Inverter manufacturer SMA is to provide controlling systems, central inverters and battery storage. "The SMA Fuel Save Controller records the energy flows in the stand-alone grid and uses that information to determine the maximum permissible PV power. In this way, we can guarantee permanent system stability and ensure smooth control of the gensets," said SMA senior vice president off-grid and storage Volker Wachenfeld.

Spain's engineering firm Isotron is currently carrying out the construction of the plant.

The plant is aimed to reduce the annual consumption of 20m litres of diesel and save $3m of fuel costs.

The solar power plant is set to start generating 2MW of electricity later this year and increase the capacity over the following months. According to SMA, it is worldwide the biggest plant of its kind.

The plant is fully state-owned.