Special

Introduction of 'Mega Solar/Wind Power + Storage' Accelerated Globally (2)

2018/01/28 22:03
Yasuto Todo, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Institute
Print Page

Continued from Introduction of 'Mega Solar/Wind Power + Storage' Accelerated Globally (1)

Two patterns of microgrid operation

In microgrid operation (3), electric power is stably supplied to regions isolated from the grid network by combining renewable energies from solar power plants, wind power plants and others with storage batteries, adjusting the supply-demand balance and the frequency. Microgrids are operated in two patterns. One of them is intended for isolated islands not connected to the grid network and off-grid regions in emerging countries. The other is intended for islanding, where the microgrid is operated independent from the grid network in on-grid regions during emergencies.

Venture companies based in Europe and the US began to construct microgrid systems combining renewable energies with storage batteries in Sub-Saharan Africa (countries in and to the south of the Sahara Desert), where the ratio of off-grid regions is especially high.

Powerhive of the US constructed a microgrid consisting of solar power systems with a total output of 80kW and a storage battery system in an off-grid village of Kisii County, Kenya for validation, concluding a partnership contract with US-based solar power generation system vendor First Solar, and supplied power to about 300 houses and business facilities, for example.

The project was highly evaluated and the company has been implementing the business in full scale. It expanded the targets and supplied power to 150,000 households and facilities in 2017.