Spanish renewable energy company Abengoa will deploy a 3.5 MW solar micro-grid at a vanadium mining site operated by Bushveld Minerals in South Africa. The storage system will be provided by Austria-based storage specialist Enerox Holdings Limited.
Around 4.2 MWh of energy storage capacity will be connected to a solar and diesel micro-grid on Rarotonga, the largest of the islands in the South Pacific nation. Three 40-foot containers with a total power output of 4.8 MVA will be used as a power reserve and for grid support by utility Te Aponga Uira.
Most microgrid projects still feature distributed fossil fuel generation, but the share of renewable microgrids is rising, driven by high-volume adopters such as the Red Cross.
Pash Global, a subsidiary of multinational commodities trader Trafigura Group, has signed a renewables power purchase agreement for a project on the British overseas territory of Saint Helena. The microgrid will help the South Atlantic island’s aim of investing in renewables, reducing diesel dependence and increasing fuel security and price stabilization.
Researchers in Thailand are proposing a wireless monitoring solution for PV in remote locations. The system, based on global standard ZigBee 2.4 GHz wireless technology, can read data and tilt solar panels in auto and manual modes.
The Ethiopian Electric Utility is seeking proposals for 25 mini grid projects which are being backed by the African Development Bank.
The French development agency and the environment ministry have a €1.6 million budget to finance novel off-grid projects from companies and NGOs operating with local partners in Africa.
A new IRENA report highlights how large-scale storage systems can be thought of as “virtual power lines” that enhance the performance and reliability of power networks when congestion occurs. It expects global storage capacity from large-scale batteries to grow from about 11 GWh at present to between 100 GWh and 167 GWh by 2030.
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