- Target: 100% of renewable energy in the electrical system.
- Status: In progress
- RES: Hybrid wind-diesel power plant
- Implementation: The Caribbean island of Bonaire is located 80km north of the Venezuelan coast. Its energy transition began in 2004 after the island’s sole diesel power plant was destroyed by a fire. Instead of re-building it, the government decided to convert Bonaire’s electricity system to one based on 100% renewable energy sources. The decision was driven by several aspects. Bonaire has close ties to Europe (being a special municipality of The Netherlands) where the share of renewable sources of electricity has been increasingly expanding. Financial support for the transition would come from Dutch Rabobank. The complete destruction of the old electric system presented an opportunity to build something new and innovative. So, while rented diesel generators served as a temporary power supply, the Bonaire government and the local utility closely collaborated in the planning of the energy transition. In 2007, the consortium “EcoPower Bonaire BV” signed the contract with the government-owned Water and Energy Company Bonaire (WEB) to construct a new green energy system, including wind power and biodiesel from algae. In August 2010, the world’s largest hybrid wind-diesel power plant went online. 12 wind turbines with a total wind power capacity of 11MW constituted the first element of Bonaire’s new power generation system. The wind turbines only contributes around 33% to the annual required electricity demand, but at times of peak wind the turbines can cover about 90% of the demand. A 6MWh battery storage for surplus electricity makes the overall system more reliable as it is capable of balancing power fluctuations in times of low wind. When the wind drops the battery provides 3MW for two minutes, which allows enough time to start the 14MW diesel power plant. The diesel generators run with heavy fuel oil, light fuel oil and biodiesel. The next step for Bonaire is the large-scale production of biodiesel from algae, which is currently under development. Besides decreasing the reliance on fuel imports and the impacts of fuel price volatility, the economic benefit of Bonaire’s renewable energy system is expected to return US$15 million annually, from a total investment of $55-60 million, which will be partly compensated by carbon credits.
- Population: 18,905 (2015)
- Area: 294 km2 (114 sq mi)
- Link: https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/01/a-caribbean-island-says-goodbye-diesel-and-hello-100-percent-renewable-electricity.html
Tag: Caribbean Netherlands
Sint Eustatius, Caribbean Netherlands
- Target: Reduce fossil fuel usage and establish a grid stabilizing energy supply based on renewable energies.
- Status: Achieved - Produces 4.1 MW of energy, covering 45% of the islands annual energy share.
- RES: Combination of a 2 MWp PV farm and diesel generators, largest lithium battery storage system in the Caribbean, latest energy technology products, and monitoring platform.
- Implementation: The project was built by Eco Energy in collaboration with SMA and Schlepper. In 2016, 1.89 MWp of solar power and central storage batteries were first installed. The project began operations in March 2016. In the second expansion stage, the project partners doubled the solar output to 4.15 MW and increased the battery capacity to 5,900 kWh. The key component is the battery inverter with grid-forming characteristics which allows the diesel generators to be shut down fully automatically without affecting the stability of the frequency in the utility grid. A fuel save controller is responsible for real-time energy and power management and synchronizes diesel and battery operation. The system compensates for the PV array’s power fluctuations caused by fast-moving clouds in this region. This allows for the diesel generators to be switched off completely during the day. The system has withstood hurricanes Irma and Maria (September 2017). The EU has since earmarked 2.2 million euros to enhance the resilience of the electrical grid by placing around 10km of MHV cables underground. In 2017 the local government began working with a French energy company to explore geothermal energy production on the island.
- Population: 3,193 (Jan 2016)
- Area: 21 km² (8 sq mi)
- Link: https://www.sma-sunny.com/en/flagship-project-in-the-caribbean-pv-hybrid-system-on-the-island-of-st-eustatius/