The technology group Wärtsilä has introduced a new hybrid solar PV and storage solution. Wärtsilä Hybrid Solar integrates solar PV generation and storage to deliver a true 'renewables as baseload' solution that is not only climate-friendly, increases resilience and efficiencies but can be supported by a power producer’s existing grid infrastructure.
"Hybrid Solar will allow utilities to transform the efficiency and reliability of their systems with an adaptable solar PV power plant that can support its baseload needs,” said Magnus Miemois, Director, Hybrids, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions. “As our global energy ecosystem evolves, Hybrid Solar represents a ground-breaking approach to electricity production and power generation.”
The IEA estimates that by 2040, total global generation capacity will increase by 60%, and renewable energy sources, like solar, wind and hydro, will make up more than 45% of that total. As the world moves towards 100% renewable energy, utilities, independent power producers (IPPs) and other energy providers are motivated to harness its potential.
A critical component in maximising the value of the hybrid solution is the software and controls platform that optimises its performance. Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä company, develops and deploys the GEMS platform, now in its fifth generation. GEMS enables intelligent energy applications that focus on monitoring and operating energy storage power plants and hybrid power plants formed by energy storage, thermal generation, and renewable sources. GEMS ensures system optimisation of both energy storage and generation assets through changes in market conditions and rate structures – effectively 'future-proofing' energy storage investments for both power developers and regulated utilities.
This is just the latest hybrid energy solution offering Wärtsilä has brought to the market. Most recently, Wärtsilä delivered a 15 MW solar PV hybrid power plant – the largest in the world – to Essakane Solar SAS in Burkina Faso, which operates with 55 MW Wärtsilä thermal power plant. The solar PV plant and the engine power plant are now controlled and operated in synchronisation, thus forming the largest engine-solar PV hybrid power plant in Africa. The ability to control and optimise the usage of engines and solar power will enable the mine to decrease its fuel consumption by approximately 6 million litres per year and to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 18,500 tons.