Vestas, EDP completes hybrid wind-solar project in southern Spain

Denmark-based manufacturer and installer of wind turbines, Vestas and Portuguese renewable energy company, EDPR, a unit of Portugal’s power utility, EDP, have announced the completion of a 3.3 MW wind and solar PV hybrid demonstration project near Cadiz, Andalucía, in southern Spain.

The power plant is located at EDP’s Janda III wind farm, and combines Vestas’ 3 MW turbine V112 with a 372 kW solar array, which is also owned by the Portuguese company. “The PV power is fed to the turbine as direct current, which is then converted and transformed by the turbine’s ad-hoc modified power conversion system in order to export the power to the grid,” the two companies said in their statement.

Vestas also said it had to upgrade the technical specifications of the turbine’s controllers, converters and design, as well as install new hardware for the project. This has led to a significant reduction in the number of converters, thus further lowering equipment costs and the cost of energy itself.

“This project demonstrates the mutual benefits of collaboration between Vestas and EDPR and how wind and solar through their complementarity bring the cost of energy further down and can deliver stable energy production,” said Vestas’ senior vice president, Innovation and Concepts, Bo Svoldgaard.

When asked if this project represents a concrete step into the solar business, Vestas’ press office told pv magazine that the company is just looking into hybrids where third parties source elements.

In the annual report for 2017, the Danish wind specialist already stated its intent to apply its well-established competencies within system controls and grid integration into combining and managing wind, solar, and storage in one system.

This, the company said in the report, can contribute to “lowering the levelised cost of energy, facilitate market entrance, and enable transition to a more sustainable energy mix.”

In 2017, Vestas announced a partnership with Windlab Limited to build the 60 MW Kennedy Energy Park phase 1 in Australia, the world’s first utility-scale, on-grid wind, solar, and battery energy storage project.

Later in February, the Danish company also announced a plan to build hybrid renewable energy plants comprised of wind and solar/or battery storage.