Gamesa inaugurates a prototype of its pioneering offgrid solution for the supply of power in remote areas without grid access

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Yesterday, in La Muela (Aragon), Gamesa inaugurated a prototype of its offgrid system for the supply of power to remote areas without access to the grid, such as islands, mines and certain rural areas. The system is pioneering on account of its bundling of four sources of power – wind power, solar power, diesel-powered generation and energy storage batteries – into a solution with installed capacity of over 2 MW.

The inauguration ceremony, which took place at La Muela (Aragon), was attended by the industry ministry’s head of industry, Víctor Audera, and the mayor of La Muela, Adrián Tello. Gamesa was represented by its Chairman, Ignacio Martín, its Chief Corporate Officer, José Antonio Cortajarena, and its Director of Business Development, David Mesonero, among other executives.

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Ignacio Martín, Chairman of Gamesa, sought to highlight the fact that: “development of this system represents another milestone in Gamesa’s quest to resolve energy needs in a sustainable manner. At present, more than 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity. Rural areas of India, South-east Asia, Africa, islands such as Haiti, Indonesia and the Philippines, and other remote corners of the plant, such as jungles and deserts, stand to benefit from these offgrid solutions which can generate cheaper and cleaner power”.

This offgrid prototype is the first to market which, with total installed capacity of over 2 MW, enables the ad-hoc combination of each of the technologies installed depending on specific project requirements with the ultimate goal of generating power yet minimising diesel consumption. The prototype also includes control software custom-developed by Gamesa to facilitate integration of the four technologies.

Specifically, the prototype inaugurated today combines a G52-850 kW wind turbine with 816 photovoltaic modules (245 kWp) and three 222-kW diesel generators (666 kW). The plan is to add a battery capable of storing 500 kWh / 500 kW by the summer. The prototype will generate enough power to meet the needs of 400 families.

“Gamesa’s entry into the offgrid sector represents a fresh technological challenge and a new niche opportunity: development of this class of technology is expected to reach 1,200 MW in the coming years. The advantage of our system is based on its flexibility: it can be tailored for customer needs by increasing, reducing or eliminating capacity in any of the technologies used”, explained David Mesonero.

In addition to the ability to customise the system, which leverages its knowledge of the wind value chain, Gamesa will also offer a turnkey offgrid solution, i.e., it will build, commission, operate and maintain offgrid facilities.

This foray into the offgrid segment falls under the scope of the company’s interest, as expressed in its 2015-2017 Business Plan, in exploring business opportunities which complement its traditional wind business – such as solar and offgrid power – and could add value from 2018.

Note that the company has some prior experience in this segment: back in 2007, it installed a facility in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) which combines three diesel generators and three wind turbines.