Bonaire Aims to be the First Renewable Island Relying on Wind and Solar

written by BVC February 21, 2019
Wind turbines on the left and a solar panel faded in on the right. Bonaire Aims to be the First Renewable Island Relying on Wind and Solar

The technology company Wärtsilä has been awarded an integrated 6 MW energy storage project contract for the Caribbean island of Bonaire. The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) hybrid energy project includes both the hardware, consisting of batteries and inverters, as well as GEMS, the energy management software from Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä company.

The energy storage system will enable Bonaire, part of the Netherlands Antilles, to increase its use of renewable energy such as wind and solar. In order to integrate more renewable energy and its intermittent nature, the Wärtsilä energy storage solution will provide the grid stability and reliability required for the island. The energy storage solution will also prevent situations where generation from renewable sources would otherwise have to be curtailed. The project will integrate multiple generation assets including all of the island’s existing power generation assets, energy storage, wind, and solar. GEMS software will control the island grid of Bonaire, an island of 19,000 inhabitants. Work on the Wärtsilä EPC project has commenced, and final completion is expected in April 2019.

“Wärtsilä was the best choice to realize integrated and optimized multiple generation assets. Their advanced energy storage and software platform will increase ContourGlobal’s wind power production and solar generation energy in Bonaire. For several years Wärtsilä has been a reliable partner of ContourGlobal. Both companies have successfully worked together on other power generation solutions around the world. Wärtsilä’s track record is outstanding. It was also important to us that Wärtsilä is capable to deliver on a fast-track schedule,” said Giorgio Narminio, Chief Operating Officer at ContourGlobal.

Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North at Wärtsilä commented, “This is an important project for Bonaire, and we are delighted to be once again working with ContourGlobal to enable an environmentally sustainable power solution. Our system will increase the reliability of the island’s power system, and the proven capability of the GEMS software to control the microgrid is a key factor in this.”

Greensmith’s GEMS software platform offers the widest range of energy storage applications for optimizing energy storage, often integrated with a growing variety of renewable and thermal generation assets. ContourGlobal is an international owner and operator of contracted wholesale power generation businesses. It owns and operates approximately 4,830 MW in 103 power plants in 19 countries and three continents.

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