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

The October edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” features KarmSolar, SolarAfrica, Singita, Tesla, Sungrow, Aquion Energy, Blue Sky Utility, Bpi, Luxor Solar, Juhayna, and Alpha Omega Winery. As in September, we see interesting projects with energy storage. We also see that the microgrid idea enters new markets such as Egypt and Croatia.

Top 1
Egypt’s first large-scale off-grid solar plant is a solar-diesel hybrid system
KarmSolar added 1 MWp PV to an existing 5 MW diesel plant that powers a dairy farm owned by a subsidiary of Juhayna. “KarmSolar believes the off-grid solar/diesel potential lies in the growing off-grid agricultural and tourism sectors in Egypt and MEA. By offering our clients turnkey and PPA options, KarmSolar is able to successfully penetrate these traditionally diesel dependent sectors enabling the quick commercial replacement of expensive diesel fuel with clean solar power,” comments Ahmed Zahran, CEO of KarmSolar.

Top 2
SolarAfrica uses a 3.15MWh Tesla Powerpack to power an off-grid solar system at a luxury safari lodge South Africa
Singita has partnered with clean energy solutions provider SolarAfrica to build, own and operate a hybrid microgrid solution for Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges. The lodges are located in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.  “Energy storage is the ‘missing link’ in the evolution of renewables. Projects like our clean energy solution with Singita are essential to showcase how we will be powering ourselves in the not too distant future. These remote projects are commercially viable near zero carbon solutions. Something unheard of a few years back and demonstrates the exciting advancements taking place in battery storage,” says SolarAfrica’s Executive Director, James Irons. “A microgrid with battery storage is ideally suited to offgrid safari lodges as it allows for the optimal use of clean renewable energy which is in line with the conservation ethos of most safari businesses. Reducing generator run time means a lower carbon footprint and less invasive noise for guests in camp,” adds Luke Bailes, Singita’s Owner and Chief Executive Officer.

Top  3
Sungrow connects 13 MWp solar+storage microgrid plant in China
The grid-connected system is the highest microgrid in the world. It is located in the harsh environs of Shuanghu, Tibet. The microgrid consists of 13 MWp of solar PV and 7 MW of battery energy storage.

Top 4
Napa Valley Alpha Omega Winery installs solar+storage microgrid
Alpha Omega, located in the Rutherford Bench area of California’s Napa Valley, has inaugurated a microgrid system with 400 kW of PV and 580 kWh of battery energy storage from Aquion Energy. According to Alpha Omega, the microgrid system reduces the winery’s average monthly utility bill from USD15,000 to USD1,000. The project developer Blue Sky Utility compiled the financing structure and the microgrid solution in conjunction with EPC company Bpi. “Solar and energy storage systems enable wineries to generate and store solar energy for on-demand use. This allows them to lower their electricity bills, avoid peak demand or time of use charges, be more independent from the grid, and have their own energy source in the case of a grid outage. With storage, wineries can maximize their use of solar and power more of their business from clean energy,” explains Tim Poor, Chief Commercial Officer at Aquion Energy.

Top 5
Solar powered orchard irrigation system in Croatia replaced diesel power
The photovoltaic system with 90.75 kW powers water pumps to irrigate the orchards at the plant Rabo I – III. The irrigation system in Kneževi Vinogradi produces 123.2 MWh electricity p.a. which covers 100 percent of the total demand for the new SPS. The estimated CO2 savings are 48.44 tons p.a. Luxor Solar has delivered the PV modules. 

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

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Dr. Thomas Hillig is the founder of THEnergy. THEnergy assists companies in dealing with energy-related challenges. Renewable energy companies are offered strategy, marketing and sales consulting services. For industrial companies, THEnergy develops energy concepts and shows how they can become more sustainable. It combines experience from conventional and renewable energy with industry knowledge in consulting. In addition to business consulting, THEnergy advises investors regarding renewable energy investments in changing markets. It is also active in marketing intelligence and as an information provider in select fields, such as renewables and mining, through the platform or renewables on islands through the new platform

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