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electricity supply

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Bookport concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa, built by Sener, Acciona and TSK, has set a new African record for the continuous, round-the-clock supply of electricity. Within the first month of commercial operation, the newly-inaugurated 50 MW Bokpoort CSP plant, produced electricity for a continuous period of 161 hours, equivalent to almost six days of continuous, full-load electricity – an African record.

CSP technology is considered an intermittent source of power which supplies electricity during daylight hours, when demand is highest. Nevertheless, Bokpoort’s design enables it to continue supplying electricity long after the sun has set thanks to a molten salt energy storage facility that can accumulate 9.3 hours of electricity production, the highest power storage facility on the African continent.

The Bokpoort CSP plant in the Northern Cape Province was built by a joint venture between Sener, Acciona, TSK and South Africa’s Crowie. They were awarded the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) project by the Saudi group ACWA Power, the plant’s owner and operator.

Round the clock electricity supply from a solar power plant is a significant milestone for South Africa and for the renewable industry as a whole, as it allows CSP technology to approximate the continuous power supply of conventional technologies such as hydroelectric, thermal or gas-fired power plants.Planta-Bokpoort2

In South Africa the country’s daily evening peak demand is from 5 pm to 9 pm and the newly introduced CSP Peak tariff means that developers are encouraged to have thermal storage capacity.

Bokpoort CSP has shown that due to the good design of the plant and the solar radiation available at the site, its 9.3 hours of thermal storage can easily be extended to allow round-the-clock continuous operations.

Nandu Bhula, CEO of Bokpoort CSP plant, declared: “Globally the biggest challenge of CSP has been its ability to produce energy consistently long after sunset. The performance of this plant is a clear indication that CSP technology can be used as a base-load capacity option in the same way as conventional power plants.”


Source: Sener


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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.

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.

Automotive leader Nissan and power management leader Eaton, have joined forces to unveil a new residential energy storage unit – designed to be the most affordable in the market today. Available to pre-order from September 2016, the ‘xStorage’ solution will give consumers the power to control how and when they use energy in their own homes.

Connected to residential power supply or renewable energy sources such as solar panels, the unit can save customers money on their utility bills by charging up when renewable energy is available or energy is cheaper (e.g. during the night) and releasing that stored energy when demand and costs are high. If a home is equipped with solar technology, this means that consumers can power their homes using clean energy stored in their xStorage system, and be rewarded financially for doing so by avoiding expensive daytime energy tariffs.

The home energy storage system also provides the ultimate back-up solution to consumers, ensuring that the lights never go out – ideal at a time when energy grids are coming under enormous strain. Moreover, customers can also generate additional revenues by selling stored energy back to the grid when demand and costs are high.

The xStorage unit will be the first device of its kind in the market to provide a fully integrated energy storage solution for homeowners. This means, unlike other storage devices, this factory made integrated unit ensures safety and performance when storing and distributing clean power to consumers. Once set-up by a certified installer, it is ready to go, giving consumers the ability to plug in and power up easily. It will also have smartphone connectivity to allow consumers to flick between energy sources at the touch of a button.145313_1_5

Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe said: “It is high time consumers were given the flexibility and power to control how and when they use energy in their own homes. The new xStorage solution combines Nissan’s expertise in vehicle design and reliable battery technology with Eaton’s leadership in power quality and electronics, resulting in a formidable second life battery solution. We want to make energy storage exciting and affordable to everyone, not least because it delivers real consumer benefits whilst ensuring smarter and more sustainable energy management for the grid.”

Beyond its high specification functionality, the xStorage system has also been designed with aesthetics and usability in mind to ensure it fits seamlessly into the home environment. This design expertise comes directly from the brains at Nissan Design Europe, UK who are renowned for their world-class vehicle design and styling.

Providing a sustainable ‘second life’ for Nissan’s electric vehicle (EV) batteries after their first life in cars is over, the new unit is powered by twelve Nissan EV battery modules and has the potential to revolutionise the way people manage energy usage in their own home, providing added flexibility and multiple cost savings.

Cyrille Brisson, Vice President Marketing, Eaton Electrical EMEA said: “The collaborative development between Eaton and Nissan enabled us to optimize development and production costs and deliver a well-integrated offer to consumers. Our system will be provided to end-users completely ready to use, with all required elements including cabling and installation by a certified professional, at a starting price of €4,000 for 4.2KWh nominal. Our policy is to avoid hidden extra costs and achieve a lower total cost of ownership than other major offers already announced.

Both companies have a well-established footprint in Europe, Africa and the Middle-East. At Eaton, we have a network of over 1,000 distributors working with qualified installers in 77 countries. We ensure that consumers access, store and use clean power safely and efficiently in the comfort of their own home.”

The new xStorage system unveiled today marks the start of a longer-term commitment by Nissan and Eaton to widen the portfolio of energy storage solutions available to both private and commercial customers. Nissan and Eaton expect to sell more than 100,000 xStorage units within the next five years as the consumer appetite for this type of technology continues to grow.


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ABB has won an order worth around $80 million from Rentel NV in Belgium to deliver an advanced cable system that will connect the offshore substation at the Rentel windfarm located off the Belgian coastline to the mainland close to Zeebrugge. The order was booked in the first quarter of 2016.

ABB will design, manufacture and install the approximately 40 kilometer long extruded three-core 220-kilovolt alternating current (AC) submarine cable system which will have a transmission capacity of around 300 megawatts. The energy transmitted to shore from this windfarm will contribute to a greener power supply in Belgium, capable of providing enough electricity to meet the needs of around 280,000 households. The cable system installation will be executed by ABB’s new state-of-the-art vessel which will enhance efficiency and precision of the cable laying operations. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2018.

The Rentel windfarm connection in the Belgian North Sea will play a significant role in meeting Belgium’s environmental objectives for 2020, specifically to increase the share of renewable energy to 13 percent of total energy production. It will also support the European Union’s environmental targets for 2020.

“The Rentel windfarm cable link will help bring clean wind power to the people of Belgium” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Grids division. “It is another example of ABB technologies that enable the integration of renewable energy and lower the environmental impact, which is an integral element of the company’s Next Level strategy.”

Cable systems are significant components of sustainable energy networks, transmitting vast amounts of electricity over long distances. With experience dating back to 1883, ABB is a global leader in high-voltage cable systems across numerous applications and has commissioned hundreds links around the world. ABB has won several cable projects connecting offshore windfarms, including Burbo Bank and Walney in the Irish Sea, Kriegers Flak in the Baltic Sea and Nordegründe in the North Sea.

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AccionaEnergy has closed tax equity financing with Bank of America Merrill Lynch for the San Roman Wind Farm which is currently being installed in Texas (US), as part of the company’s renewed focus on building renewable energy projects in the country.

San Roman is a 93 megawatt (MW) wind power project located in Cameron County, near the southeast coast of Texas. Accionawill own and operate the San Roman project when it enters service, which is expected to happen by the end of 2016.

The power generated by the project will create a more reliable supply of electricity for Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, an area that has suffered rolling blackouts in recent years due to a lack of local electric resources. The San Roman Wind Farm will produce enough energy to power more than 30,000 U.S. homes.

“As Accionaworks to build new clean energy projects in the highly competitive U.S. market, we need partners like Bank of America Merrill Lynch who understand renewable energy and the innovative financial solutions that can move our industry forward,” said Ilya Hartmann, CEO of AccionaEnergy North America.

“This deal was a team effort made possible by the collaboration, expertise, and dedication of both parties.”

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is pleased to work with AccionaEnergy on this significant wind power project in southeastern Texas,” said Todd Karas, head of Renewable Energy Finance at BofA Merrill. “We believe the financial services sector is in a unique position to help and provide the much needed capital and financing to accelerate a low carbon economy. Our $125 billion environmental business initiative demonstrates that commitment through lending, investing, capital raising, advisory services and developing financing solutions.”

Presence in North America

Accionacurrently has 628 MW of wind power capacity operational in the United States, with three wind farms in Oklahoma (329 MW), one in North and South Dakota (180 MW), one in Illinois (100.5 MW) and another two in North Dakota and Iowa (12 MW and 6 MW respectively). It also has a 64 MW concentrating solar plant in Nevada.

In nearby countries, the company owns and operates 181 MW of wind power capacity in Canada (in Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick) and 556 MW in Mexico (all in Oaxaca).

With the new wind farm, AccionaEnergy’s renewable energy capacity will exceed 1,500 MW in North America.

Accionawill invest around $2.5 billion by 2020 to build new renewable energy installations worldwide, increasing the Company’s capacity by approximately 1,900 MW.

Siemens has been awarded an order from the transmission grid operator Amprion for the supply, installation and commissioning of a reactive power compensation system for stabilizing the power supply grid in the Greater Frankfurt Area. In navigating through the energy turnaround, this is how Amprion will tackle the challenges facing the power grid created by an ever-increasing number of fluctuating renewable energy sources feeding power into the grid. The grid operator will use the reactive power compensation system for dynamic voltage stabilization of the transmission grid.

The order includes a latest-generation static VAR compensation system SVC Plus, which has undergone further development by Siemens, among other things to minimize the environmental impact of the system, such as noise emissions and reducing the size of the system to a minimum. Siemens will erect the system in Kriftel, a community in the Rhine-Main region located between Frankfurt and Wiesbaden, and will integrate it there into an existing switchgear system. The volume of the order is around EUR 25 million; the system is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2017.

The core of SVC Plus, an advanced Statcom (static synchronous compensator), is its multilevel converter technology. By contrast with other self-commutated converter topologies, the voltage waveshape produced by SVC Plus is practically sinusoidal by virtue of the multilevel technology. This makes the low-frequency harmonic filters often used in earlier solutions superfluous and substantially reduces the space requirements for the overall unit.

The power converter is based on a modular topology. Each converter branch consists of series-connected insulated gate bipolar transistor modules (IGBT power modules). The SVC Plus system for Amprion is designed for a rated capacity of +/- 300 MVAr and laid out in several power converters connected in parallel. Redundant power modules are included in the phases of each converter branch. In the rare event of a fault, these would continue to ensure operation at full rated power without a forced shutdown. Replacement of defective components could then be postponed until the next scheduled maintenance. The average availability for an SVC Plus system therefore far exceeds 99 percent. Siemens has received orders worldwide for more than 50 SVC Plus systems in the last four years alone.

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Acciona Green Energy Developments, the Acciona Energía subsidiary that markets energy, has been awarded the high-voltage electric power supply to all the facilities of the Ministry of Defense in Spain. For the first time, these will be supplied by electricity of 100% renewable origin, i.e. free of greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the contract, won by Acciona in a public tender, the company started supplying renewable electricity to all the facilities of the Defense Ministry in November this year. These include the General Headquarters, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, plus other entities that report to the Ministry.

Among the facilities covered are the naval bases at Rota, Cartagena, San Fernando and Ferrol and the air bases at Torrejón and Morón, plus other offices and installations, to reach a total of 380 supply points.

The volume of power delivered in the six months of the contract’s duration – it will end on 30 April 2016 – is calculated at around 180 GWh, with a maximum contract sum of around 25 million euros. If this power had been generated by coal-fired power plants it would have meant the emission to the atmosphere of some 173,000 metric tons of CO2, the main cause of climate change.

With this operation, Acciona Green takes yet another step in consolidating its business of selling energy to large consumers. It also diversifies its customer portfolio, which includes other Administration bodies such as the Network of State-run Museums and twelve hospitals in the region of Madrid, and companies such as Canal de Isabel II Gestión, Adif, CLH, Coca-Cola Partners or Danone, among others.

Images: Ministerio de Defensa.


Axpo Iberia has signed an electric power supply agreement with Fluidra, a publicly traded multinational group from Spain and one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of solutions for swimming pools and wellness, water treatment, fluid irrigation and conduction. It is currently present in 44 countries through 150 delegations and production centres, distributing products to over 170 countries thanks to an extensive commercial network and a workforce of around 4,100 employees.

The supply agreement signed with Axpo Iberia shall apply to 55 supply sites located in 18 of the Group’s companies throughout Spain, amounting to a total annual demand of 27 GWh. As of now, the electric demand from all of its centres shall be solely provided by 100% renewable sources, with the subsequent reduction of their environmental impact.

Fluidra’s decision results from its Environmental Policy and adhesion to the United Nations Global Compact as a responsible company that builds its business model following approaches based on innovation and sustainability.

Aware of the necessity to commit to an effective environmental management, Fluidra has deployed in its production centres the ISO9001, ISO14001, and EMAS quality and environmental certification standards.

Within its commitment to optimise the natural resources used in production processes, the use of renewable energies perfectly fits as one of the cornerstones for a sustainable development in the future.Fluidra-(2)-baja

There are several benefits to contracting an environmentally certified supply: on one hand, it assists in complying with required environmental protocols and directives such as ISO 14001 or the EMAS Certification; additionally, it brings unquestionable benefits to corporate image as environmental aspects are increasingly valued by clients; and finally, this type of energy contributes to reduce the carbon footprint that is generated throughout the life cycle of many products.

The renewable energy supplied by Axpo is certified by CNMC, who issues a certificate per KW/h generated as it verifies its provenance from renewable sources, and guaranteed by RECS (Renewable Energy Certificate System) certificates.  “For many years now, companies have made great efforts to devise improvements throughout their product life cycles. In that sense, contracting “green” energy from renewable sources is a simple, no added-cost initiative with a very important image value for companies and organisations”, stated Ignacio Soneira, CEO Axpo Iberia, after signing the agreement.

Since its entry into the Iberian market in 2002, Axpo Iberia has gradually expanded its lines of business in Spain and Portugal, now covering a wide range of services: marketing of electricity and gas; energy management for special regime producers; power generation control and load dispatching center (CECOGEL); structured products and trading in electricity, biomass, and CO2.

Acciona Green Energy Developments, the Acciona Energy subsidiary dedicated to the marketing of energy of renewable origin, has been awarded the supply of electricity to eighteen museums and exhibition centers managed by the Sub-directorate General of State Museums (Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport). In total, they receive around three million visitors per annum.

The award includes the supply of around 10 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity between October 1st 2015 and July 31st 2016, with estimated revenues of around 740,000 euros. This level of power – certified 100% renewable by the Spanish National Competition Commission (CNMC) – will avoid the emission of 9,619 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations per year.

Nine of the museums affected by the award are located in Madrid: the National Archeological Museum, The Museum of the Suit, the Museum of the Americas, the Sorolla Museum, the Cerralbo Museum, the National Anthropology Museum, the National Museum of Decorative Art, the National Museum of Romanticism and the Centro Tabacalera for the Promotion of Art.

These are joined by the National Museum of Roman Art in Mérida (Badajoz); the Altamira Caves Museum at Santillana del Mar (Cantabria); the El Greco and Sephardic Museums in Toledo; the ‘González Martí’ National Museum of Ceramics and Sumptuary Arts in Valencia; the Nacional Museum of Sculpture and the House of Cervantes in Valladolid; the National Museum of Subaquatic Archeology in Cartagena (Murcia) and the Palacio de los Águila in Ciudad Rodrigo (Salamanca).

This contract strengthens Acciona’s position as a supplier of renewable energy to cultural centers in Spain, where it already has major clients such as the El Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum and the National Library, with which the company has just renewed the contract for electricity supplies until October 7th 2016.

Following this latest award, the company now supplies renewable energy to cultural institutions that, taken together, receive around seven million visitors every year. The approximate volume of energy to be supplied is 35.5 GWh, thus avoiding the emission of more than 334,000 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Picture: Museo Arqueológico Nacional

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