The November edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” features Tesla, SolarCity, Redavia, Shanta Gold, New Sun Road, Microsoft, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye Resort, Omni Power and Astronergy. In the past month, we have seen interesting microgrid projects on islands, solar for the mining industry and a large-scale commercial PV solution for post-offices in Bangladesh.
Tesla Powers American Samoan Island With Solar-Storage Microgrid
Tesla and SolarCity have deployed a solar plus storage microgrid on the island of Ta’u located more than 4,000 miles from the U.S. West Coast. Before, the island had suffered power rationing and outages. The microgrid consists of a 1.4 MW PV array and 6 MWh of battery storage from 60 Tesla Powerpacks. Diesel gensets are only used as back-up.
Redavia to Expand Its Shanta Gold Mine PV Project to 672kW in Tanzania
The expansion project is the second phase of a two-phased process to increase New Luika’s use of solar energy. The existing 63kW rental solar power plant built in 2014 will be extended by 609kW. Work on the expansion plant has already begun and will continue into 2017.
“Shanta Gold’s decision to expand Redavia’s rental solar farm to more than ten-fold is strong proof that rental solar makes sense for off-grid mines”, comments Erwin Spolders, CEO of Redavia.
Microsoft Supported Start-up New Sun Road Powers Islands in Southern Uganda
The 50,000 inhabitants of the Ssese Islands in Uganda depend largely on the fishing industry. New Sun Road built solar microgrids that substituted costly diesel energy and provides reliable power supply for the local industry.
“New Sun Road’s project delivers affordable, clean energy and productive services to rural small businesses, many of them operated by women. We believe their solution will massively scale in the years to come due to their significant investments in leveraging the power of big data, the cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to deliver clean energy and connectivity more efficiently and effectively”, explains Kevin Connolly, Business Development at Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative. Jalel Sager, Director of New Sun Road adds: “Uganda has all the right conditions for a vibrant solar market—lots of off-grid users, plenty of sunshine, and fluency in mobile money. Once its small-power producer regulations become firmer and more evenly enforced, we can expect to see a very quick uptake.”
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Island Resort in Belize Will Be Powered By Renewables
Blackadore Caye Resort off the Atlantic coast of Belize was planned by Denniston International Architects & Planners Ltd. There will be 36 residential estate homes and 36 bookable bungalows spread over the island’s 104 acres. Solar panels will be installed to generate as much renewable energy as possible.
This could be an interesting reference for renewable energy players. If DiCaprio is ambitious, he could create another flagship example for renewables on islands, like Over Yonder Cay of the Bosarge Family Office, Richard Branson’s Necker Island or Club Med’s Gasfinolhu Island.
Omni Power equips 8,500 post offices in Bangladesh with solar
The PV installations will provide a reliable off-grid power source to post offices in remote regions where power cuts or lack of grid connection are a problem. The Bangladeshi Government will cover the costs, which amount to US$20 million. Many PV plants will reduce diesel consumption. The PV modules will be delivered by Astronergy.
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