What is a Hybrid-Mini-Grid
A Hybrid-Mini-Grid system comprises of several different sources of energy supply, such as wind or solar, plus diesel back up, plus possibly grid supply, or any other energy resource coupled to a BESS, providing a consumer with a full energy solution. Use cases are identified and stacked to provide a highly customisable system capable of supplying power to the end user at market leading tariff structures.
These systems are generally containerised systems built up from modular systems, typically with a 500 kW/ 2 MWh basic layout. One of the major advantages of containerised BESS systems is their flexibility in terms of decoupling the power and energy modules. These systems can be adapted to provide 4, 6, 8 or even more hours of Energy Storage, at the rated nominal power output.
Several containerised systems can be built up to make a larger system, with a typical economic unit being larger than 1MW/ 4MWh. These larger building blocks can then be multiplied as many times as the client needs. This is particularly useful when clients wish to gradually expand their Energy Storage facilities, as these larger building blocks do not have to necessarily be added at the same time or location.
Mining plants that are off grid, or at the end of vulnerable utility supplies are particularly suited to the development of Hybrid-Mini-Grids. The economic benefits of using a reliable renewable resource, such as solar and Energy Storage rather than expensive diesel generation are huge. Mines with unreliable power sources, often located in tropical African areas, with good solar regimes, run the risk of stoppages on a continuous basis. Usually power supplies to such mines, even from the national grid, are expensive, both in development costs and power purchase rates, and the introduction of a partial, or total, Hybrid-Mini-Grid, can provide significant savings in the cost and reliability of energy for the mine.
Commercial and Industrial
Many industrial plants and shopping centres are plagued by unreliable energy supplies and are unable to operate when the national grid is not available. These applications can benefit by installing their own source of energy and create significant financial savings by supplying their own power. Shopping centre rooftop or carport solar systems can be connected to Energy Storage systems that allow the centre to run through power outages, while paying less per kWh for their energy. In addition, owners can take advantage of low priced energy during off-peak periods to charge their storage devices and use this energy during peak periods, thereby enhancing their energy cost savings.
Similarly, industrial users can take advantage of the same benefits, as well as avoiding power dips and improving their power factors by installing a Hybrid-Mini-Grid.