6 MW Wärtsilä Energy storage system demonstrates phased increase of renewable energy penetration on the island of Bonaire

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade press release 20 June 2019 at 15:00 UTC+2
  • Bonaire

The technology group Wärtsilä has commissioned its 6 MW / 6 MWh energy management and storage system project for its customer ContourGlobal Bonaire on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. With Phase One complete, the island no longer has to curtail wind resources. It has nearly doubled renewable energy penetration, and prepared the system for additional capacity to accommodate peak demand during tourist season. ContourGlobal’s entire island grid is managed and operated by Greensmith GEMS advanced software platform.

“A big hurdle for utilities today is figuring out where to begin when it comes to modernising traditional thermal-based systems to allow the integration of more renewable generation assets without compromising reliability,” said Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North and the Caribbean at Wärtsilä Energy Business. “Bonaire provides a real-time case study for how it can be done in a phased approach.”

The utility’s phased approach allows time for system operators to add new hybrid solutions and spread out costs, and leaves room for new technologies to come online. For Bonaire, Phase One involves GEMS managing an optimising dispatch and operation of existing generation assets. It also provides spinning reserve requirement with energy storage to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Furthermore, Phase One involves unlocking curtailed wind energy and improved system reliability by providing frequency and voltage control. To optimise the system GEMS now factors in real-time asset performance, as well as load and renewable energy forecasts. With Phase One complete, GEMS can balance Bonaire’s resources and seamlessly optimise thermal, wind and energy storage assets.

“During our commissioning tests, several load rejections were tested, including loss of wind, loss of engines and loss of demand, and in every circumstance GEMS instantaneously tracked and maintained the quality of the generation avoiding the load shedding of the grid,” said Giorgio Narminio, Caribbean assets COO of ContourGlobal. “This is just one example of how this project will improve operations through automation while helping the island avoid blackouts, achieve greater efficiencies and use more wind power.”

Commissioning of the project puts Bonaire on the path to achieving its 100% renewable target. This is the beginning of a longer-term plan to fully modernise the island’s system and add additional capacity and renewable energy generation to the grid. ContourGlobal Bonaire commissioned the project after years of seeking solutions to integrate more renewable power into the existing island grid.

The next phases for the Bonaire project will replace outdated thermal technology with five new engines and add more wind and solar to the generation mix. As the island grid increases in size, GEMS will enable further renewable penetration and lower the cost of energy. GEMS machine learning and AI capability will incorporate weather, electricity demand and other variables and data into its forecasting models. This data will inform the automated decisions managing ContourGlobal’s entire fleet.

The contract for the Bonaire project was originally awarded to Wärtsilä on in Q4 2018 and Phase One A took only a few months to complete. Learn more about this project during a Greentech Media webinar on July 30 at 11:00 a.m. PDT or more about Wärtsilä energy storage solutions here.

Caption text: With Phase One of the Bonaire project complete, GEMS will balance resources and seamlessly optimise thermal, wind and energy storage assets. GEMS uses in real-time asset performance, and load and renewable energy forecasts.Photo credit Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä company.

Earlier published:

Press release 24 January 2019: Wärtsilä Energy storage system will enable greater integration of renewable power on Caribbean island of Bonaire

Read more about Wärtsilä energy storage solutions.

For more information, please contact:

Sampo Suvisaari
Regional Director, Latin America North & Caribbean
Wärtsilä North America
Tel. + 1 281 2336204

Tiffany Refuerzo
Director, Marketing & Communications
Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä Company
Tel. +1 415 603 8135

Wärtsilä Energy Business in brief
Wärtsilä Energy Business is leading the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. As an energy system integrator, we understand, design, build and serve optimal power systems for future generations. Wärtsilä’s solutions provide the needed flexibility to integrate renewables and secure power system reliability. Our offering comprises engine-based flexible power plants – including liquid gas systems – hybrid solar power plants, energy management systems and storage and integration solutions. We support our customers over the lifecycle of their installations with services that enable increased efficiency and guaranteed performance. Wärtsilä has 70 GW of installed power plant capacity in 177 countries around the world.

Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2018, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.2 billion with approximately 19,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä Company
Greensmith Energy is an energy storage innovator with over a decade of industry leadership. Now part of Wärtsilä, the world’s leading energy system integrator, we offer unrivaled global capabilities to the most pressing energy challenges. Our integrated solutions strengthen the reliability and flexibility of the grid, integrate more renewable power onto the system and optimise multiple generation assets. Our combined mission is to deliver integrated energy solutions that build a resilient, intelligent and flexible energy infrastructure – unlocking the way to an optimised renewable future. Greensmith Energy has deployed over 70 grid-scale systems across nine countries and offers an industry-leading energy software platform called GEMS.

All Wärtsilä releases are available at https://www.wartsila.com/media/news-releases and at http://news.cision.com/wartsila-corporation where also the images can be downloaded.