Smart-grid based hybrid wind-solar project goes online in Dubai

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The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced completion of the emirate’s first hybrid wind-solar power project – the Smart Grid Station at its ‘green garage’ in Al Ruwayyah, near Dubai Academic City and Dubai Silicon Oasis.

DEWA said the project, built with power company the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), consists of a 200 kW PV installation with a 9 kW wind system and 500 kWh of storage based on lithium-ion batteries.

“The station also includes [more than] 2,000 sensors based on … internet of things technology and smart meters distributed throughout the facility to monitor power and water demand data in real-time, for the purpose of improved energy and water management,” DEWA said, adding, the project has “the potential to reduce demand when required, by eliminating non-critical loads through smart lighting, smart power outlets, and [a] smart air conditioning system”.

Project came out of strategic partnership

The authority also installed a smart chiller through a building management system at the facility, reducing demand on it with a 100-tonne thermal energy storage system said to be able to store surplus cooling energy when required.

DEWA and KEPCO signed an agreement to build the project in 2015. The contract followed a memorandum signed by both parties in 2014, to exchange information on smart grids and cities, to share benchmarks and to organize mutual workshops.

DEWA will establish an R&D center at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with an investment of AED500 million ($136 million) up to next year. In October, the electric authority also announced a plan for an hydrogen plant and associated facilities at the huge solar complex. The 1 GW solar park – now on the verge of its phase V – also hosts a pilot storage project based on NGK’s NAS batteries.