More and more countries are switching to renewable energy sources. This is an indisputable fact. More are relying on renewable energy to provide a significant portion of their energy needs. But a very important problem remains: what of far-off areas, out of reach to state grids? Where do they get their power needs?
Gamesa, a Spain-based wind energy company, just launched a prototype of their new off-grid power generating system, which is targeted to remote or out-of-reach areas without access to the power grid, such as islands, mines, or rural areas.
The pioneering project, inaugurated in La Muela, Aragon, is one of a kind since it features four distinct power technologies—solar power, wind power, diesel power, and energy storage batteries. In one package, the four technologies combine to generate 2 MW of power.
The energy package combines an 850 kW wind turbine with 816 photovoltaic modules (245 kW) and three 222-kW diesel generators (666 kW). The company will still have to add a battery capable of storing 500 kWh / 500 kW by the summer. The prototype aims to meet the needs of at least 400 households.
Other than the actual hardware of the off-grid system, Gamesa has also included a software package it has developed itself, which efficiently integrates the functioning of the four separate technologies. Depending on the specifics of the area to be serviced and the power needs to be met, not to mention variable weather conditions, the system can be modified to toggle between different power inputs and outputs.
This off-grid prototype has the ultimate goal of generating cheaper and cleaner energy, while at the same time minimizing diesel consumption. And it means supplying the power requirements of remote populations and facilities, and creating a more connected world.