The technology group Wärtsilä will supply a 25 MW / 27 MWh advanced energy storage system for Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL). In combination with a 132 MW power plant operating on seven Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines supplied to BPL in 2019, the integrated Wärtsilä solution will provide the Bahamas with an optimised energy system that meets Bahama’s spinning reserve requirements, while significantly improving generation efficiency and system reliability for the island’s grid. The order was booked in Wärtsilä’s order intake in Q3 2021.
The combination of flexible power generation and energy storage utilising Wärtsilä’s unique GEMS Digital EnergyPlatform will support the Government of the Bahamas’ plans to increase its share of renewable sources, notably solar, by 30 percent by 2030. Renewables hold the key to decarbonising the energy sector. Wärtsilä’s mature flexibility solutions manage surges in demand and/or rapid variations in the supply of renewable energy through energy storage and thermal balancing power plants, demonstrating that the technologies for achieving decarbonisation are available and commercially viable.
The order comprises 27 units of Wärtsilä GridSolv Quantum energy modular storage system. The installation will be located at the Bluehills Power Station and will be carried out by Wärtsilä under a full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract. The system is anticipated to be fully operational by mid-2022.
BPL’s CEO Whitney Heastie said: “Wärtsilä won the bid with a solution that will greatly assist BPL in the process of improving system reliability and service quality. In addition, we believe this energy storage solution will help us as we work to continue our reduction of operational costs on the island.”
“The path to a decarbonised future on islands pairs flexibility solutions – advanced energy storage technology and balancing thermal generation – for optimised operations and grid reliability. Storage enables this system efficiency, while at the same time opening the door to future cost savings through the integration of additional renewables into the system. It is through this smart optimisation that renewable targets become a reality,” commented Risto Paldanius, Vice President, Americas at Wärtsilä Energy.
With island grids, such as that of the Bahamas, grid resilience is critical. The balance between load and power generation needs to be constantly maintained to guard against instability caused by sudden load changes or extreme weather. Energy storage provides spinning reserve and grid stability, with constant management of an island’s grid’s operations. Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform ensures the intelligent optimisation and control of these microgrids at both portfolio and site-level, streamlining and synchronising all assets and future-proofing the site, while ensuring back-up power for predicted or unexcepted outages. GEMS enables power plant owners to run their assets at peak efficiency to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions.
The Wärtsilä energy storage system will deliver notable benefits via spinning reserve support for the existing engine generating sets. This application will enable the engines to be run optimally, thereby reducing the overall fuel consumption, lessening exhaust emissions, and effectively lowering engine maintenance costs. At the same time, the energy storage system adds capacity, lowers operating costs, and stabilises the grid.