The famous Galápagos Islands are soon to be host to a solar and big battery micro-grid that will replace much of the expensive and highly polluting diesel that is currently the main source of power.
Total Eren and Gransolar have signed an agreement with the Ecuadorian government to build an island-based microgrid that will feature a 14.8MW solar farm and a 40.9MWh storage component.
The storage component will include two battery energy service systems (BESS) that are coupled with the solar farm for a total discharge capacity of 40.9MW, on Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island.
A third component of the microgrid comprises a 44km subsea transmission line interconnecting the two islands, along with a microgrid controller that will operate the dispatch of all the energy generation assets in the Galápagos Archipelago.
Combined, the project will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels from 85 per cent to less than 30 per cent, and slash diesel imports and consumption by a staggering 1.6 million barrels per year.
The E-Quator project, which was formerly known as Conolophus, was launched in September 2018 as a private initiative by Gransolar.
It was presented to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, which decided to hold a Public Selection Process in March 2020. It was in response to this process that Total Eren joined, and the two companies received official approval to proceed back in September.
“This is a great example of a collective effort across the public and private sectors led with integrity, passion, and purpose,” said Daniel Hidalgo, president of Gransolar.
“Collectively, this allows us to think bigger and aspire to create projects with real impact and purpose. Our dream is to continue to build a sustainable future and reimagine sustainability across a range of areas such as: solar, wind, electro mobility, and green hydrogen.”
Fabienne Demol, the global head of business development of Total Eren, said the project will deliver a comprehensive green energy solution that can be duplicated in all islands of the globe.