Graciosa 1960 x 690 px

Graciosa + Wärtsilä

Energy storage improves energy security in remote island in northern Azores, Portugal

A hybrid storage solution integrates and optimises wind, solar, storage and thermal generation assets on the island of Graciosa, in the Azores, Portugal.

 

Off the coast of Portugal, in the northern Azores, heavy dependence on fossil fuel imports, coupled with a growing climate crisis, puts the island of Graciosa in a very unique bind as it relates to energy security. Relying on oil, diesel and natural gas shipments has been a very expensive endeavor and traditionally the only option for isolated communities like Graciosa. Integrating renewable energy has not only become an economically viable alternative, it’s also a sustainable one.

The Graciosa Hybrid Renewable Power Plant enables 1 MW of solar, 4.5 MW of wind power and a 6 MW / 3.2 MWh energy storage system to be supplied to the local grid, reducing the islands’ reliance on petroleum imports and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Graciólica Lda’s end client, local utility EDA, anticipates this investment will boost renewable energy consumption from 15% to 65%. Not only does this reduce the island’s carbon footprint, but the hybrid island grid will also greatly impact the cost of energy going forward.

Graciosa is one of many islands pursuing a hybrid approach to island grid energy generation. This new hybrid renewable power plant is managed by the GEMS Digital Energy Platform, developed and installed by Wärtsilä. The result: an integrated power system combining renewables, engines, and energy storage that will deliver both economic and environmental benefits.

The GEMS software uses artificial intelligence and data to control and balance multiple energy assets, automatically optimising energy generation based on load patterns and weather forecasts, increasing the use of renewable energy and decreasing the cost of diesel power generation, while improving the reliability of the island’s energy grid.

This project represents the journey towards a 100% renewable energy future for the island that will deliver both economic and environmental benefits.

WHOGRACIÓLICA LDA
WHAT6 MW / 3.2 MWh ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM 
WHEREAZORES, PORTUGAL
HOWGEMS DIGITAL ENERGY PLATFORM

 

 

This is what we achieved

6 MW

and 3.2 MWh of energy storage capacity

144

days operating on 100% renewables in 2021

63%

renewable penetration in 2021

This project represents the future direction of the global energy sector with an integrated power system combining renewables and energy storage. We appreciate Wärtsilä's professionalism in providing the software needed to expand the functionality of the microgrid to create overall system reliability and performance.

- Scott Macaw, Director, Graciólica Lda

How we did it

Challenge icon

Challenge

Heavy dependence on external sources for energy fuel, including high costs of importing fossil fuels to power the island’s energy grid and relative unreliability of supplies

Solution icon

Solution

Hybrid storage solution integrated and GEMS optimised energy generation, combining wind, solar, energy storage and thermal generation assets

Benefit icon

Benefit

Reduced island’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and significantly cut down on greenhouse gas emissions by boosting renewable energy consumption from 15% to 65%

The main details

Customer Graciólica Lda
Site size 6 MW / 3.2 MWh energy storage,
4.5 MW wind, 1 MW solar
Site locations Azores, Portugal
Applications Microgrid renewables integration
Delivery 2018
Azores, Portugal

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