Top 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel-Hybrid + Microgrids) – June 2016

The June edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” features Neyveli Lignite, Saudi Aramco, GE, Solar for Samoa, Solarcentury, London Distillers and Kodiak Electric Association. Traditional energy players such as Neyveli Lignite and Saudi Aramco are turning toward renewables and are an interesting option for island microgrids. 

Top 1 
Neyveli Lignite to set up 20 MW solar + storage project in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd. (NLC), a Navratna Public Sector Enterprise, will set up a 20 MW solar project in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India). The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has picked NLC to establish solar-based power plants in Andaman with a view to phase out the usage of the diesel generator sets. These projects will be established by NLC under an MNRE scheme, wherein the latter provides 40% of the capital cost as subsidy. The solar power project is proposed to be installed with sufficient capacity of battery energy storage to cater the power needs of South Andaman with a fairly flat and firm power throughout the day time and the evening peak demand period. This arrangement will considerably reduce diesel consumption for power generation. The cost of power generation will also be less compared to the current diesel based power generation in Andaman. 

Top 2
Saudi Aramco and GE to add wind turbine to diesel power plant
Saudi Aramco and General Electric are partnering to install Saudi Arabia’s first Wind Turbine at the Turaif Bulk Plant, located in the north-west of the Kingdom. The initiative is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 as endorsed by the Saudi Cabinet that has set an initial target of generating 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy. The project marks the first regional installation of GE’s model 2.75-120 Wind Turbine. The demo Wind Turbine to be installed at Turaif bulk plant will allow the displacement of diesel that is used for power generation in the plant.  

Top 3
2.1 MW-solar plant in Samoa will save on diesel costs
The Samoa Government’s target to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2017 moved one step closer with the opening of a 2.1 MW solar plant. The solar plant is located in the middle of the Faleata Racecourse and the electricity it will produce will save 1,900,000 litres of diesel on average each year. Owned by Solar for Samoa, the solar plant will offset a substantial portion of Samoa’s existing diesel-generated electricity, which currently accounts for nearly two-thirds of the country’s energy mix. The project is the first stage of Solar for Samoa’s total 5.2 MW PV project, scheduled to come online in July. The government launched the Faleata project in 2014 with the help of the European Union and New Zealand.

Top 4
Solarcentury to deliver 1 MWp solar-diesel hybrid rooftop project for London Distillers
Solarcentury has teamed up with London Distillers to ensure that its building in Athi River, Kenya, will soon house the largest rooftop solar project in East Africa. Solarcentury is to install a 1MWp rooftop PV system that should generate enough electricity to power the entire building during daytime hours. London Distillers estimates it will save at least US$180,000 per year for the next 25 years. The hybrid solar-diesel system that will operate in conjunction with the grid.

Top 5
Two 1 MW flywheels added to hydro-wind + battery storage microgrid on Kodiak Island (Alaska) crowding out diesel
Kodiak Electric Association’s (KEA) two flywheels can each store up to 1 megawatt of electricity. That’s enough power to lift a heavy cargo container from the dock and move it to the ship. On an average day, KEA’s customers use about 17 MW of power, with demand climbing to 20 MW during the island’s peak fish processing season. The flywheels are just the latest addition to the company’s impressive lineup of renewable energy systems. Roughly 76 percent of KEA’s electricity comes from hydroelectric energy, with wind providing another 23 percent. The utility also relies on a storage battery system and the flywheels to back up its variable wind systems.

For more information about the Top 5 news with sources, please have as well a look at

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Hillig founded THEnergy in 2013. THEnergy is a specialized business consultancy that focuses on innovation in the energy sector, such as microgrids, solar-diesel hybrid, energy storage and hydrogen. THEnergy has developed sophisticated tools to support its clients in product launches and growth strategies. During the last six years, THEnergy has consulted leading multinational utilities, oil and gas companies, and start-ups regarding energy strategy, due diligence, market intelligence, and communication. THEnergy combines Hillig’s previous experiences working at Alstom Power in conventional energy generation and at Innotech Solar. At the beginning of his career, Hillig consulted leading companies from the transport, telecommunication and construction sectors.

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