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Roatan Electric Company + Wärtsilä

Bringing smart storage technology to the Caribbean

A major sustainable energy transition is happening in the Caribbean. Heavy fuel-based economies and vulnerability to extreme weather see the region pushing for greater resiliency and energy security. Upgrades to existing infrastructure are supporting the increased demand for energy capacity brought by tourism. So is the case off the northern cost of Honduras on the island of Roatan, where a robust sustainable energy investment strategy is accelerating the region’s clean energy transition.

In 2016, the island reduced its carbon footprint by a quarter and improved its electricity supply by introducing a 28 MW power plant of Wärtsilä 34SGLPG engine generating sets. Existing operational and infrastructure challenges are related to high energy costs and fuel consumption as well as other difficulties associated with operating an isolated distribution grid, has spurred a renewables shift for Roatan. And it has not stopped at a more efficient power plant.

Wärtsilä’s solution was an energy upgrade—including a new 10 MW / 26 MWh energy storage system and advanced control platform—that introduced flexibility into the local Roatan grid. While the batteries secure reliability by eliminating the need for mechanical spinning reserve, Wärtsilä’s sophisticated GEMS energy management software controls Roatan’s entire energy system, including enhancing earlier delivered Wärtsilä engines and solar panels.

The optimisation capabilities enabled by Wärtsilä's energy storage system have increased the reliability of the system, as well as prepared the Roatan hybrid power system for a shift to large-scale renewables integration.

WHOROATAN ELECTRIC COMPANY (ROATAN)
WHAT10 MW/26 MWh ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM
WHEREHONDURAS

 

This is what we achieved

10 MW

and 6 MWh of energy storage capacity.

500 MW

Wärtsilä's total installed power capacity in Honduras.

We greatly appreciate Wärtsilä’s support in arranging fast delivery of this energy storage system. Electricity demand continues to increase on the island, and by integrating energy storage to our already efficient engine power plant, we will be better placed to meet this demand and ensure grid stability.

- Matthew Harper, Director of Operations at RECO

How we did it

Challenge icon

Challenge

  • Secure energy reliability in extreme weather and for an island grid with fluctuating energy demands
  • Introduce the quick dispatch of back-up (thermal) generation via an advanced control system
  • Facilitate the integration of more renewables into the grid and seamless synchronisation and optimisation of these intermittent assets
Solution icon

Solution

  • Smart energy storage system that provides virtual spinning reserve capacity to maintain the stability of the grid, particularly important for the energy security of an island grid
  • Tertiary control of GEMS energy management platform that optimises the entire hybrid system, including existing power plant with Wärtsilä engines, as well as solar PV and wind
Benefit icon

Benefit

  • Storage and GEMS bring grid flexibility and enable further renewables integration into the local grid
  • Increased grid reliability and a reduction in blackouts has resulted in considerably more investment towards improving the infrastructure on the island in general
RECO, Honduras

The main details

 CUSTOMERROATAN ELECTRIC COMPANY (RECO)
SITE SIZE10 MW/26 MWh
WHEREHONDURAS
APPLICATIONSRENEWABLE INTEGRATION, ENGINE+, GRID RELIABILITY, ISLAND GRID
SCOPEENGINEERED EQUIPMENT (EEQ)
DELIVERY2020

 

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