Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (CUC) and technology group Wärtsilä have signed an agreement, which will result in Wärtsilä supplying two 10 megawatt (MW)/10 megawatt hour (MWh) energy storage systems to CUC.
This project, which will be CUC’s first energy storage facility, will enable the Company to approximately double its renewable energy capacity on Grand Cayman.
The energy storage facilities will allow CUC to operate its generating facilities in a more efficient manner reducing fuel costs to electricity consumers. Additionally, the energy storage will facilitate up to a total of 29 MW of distributed customer-sited renewable energy resources without detrimental effects on its grid.
Like with many island grids, CUC’s power system is isolated from other power systems and it is susceptible to unplanned changes in generation output. Until now, the network connected electricity generation sources on Grand Cayman comprised 161 MW of diesel-fueled generation and approximately 14 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation.
Vice President Customer Services & Technology, Sacha Tibbetts says, “We are pleased to work with Wärtsilä to establish our first energy storage system. This represents a crucial step for CUC to integrate more renewable energy with the grid. Once this project is completed we also anticipate savings on fuel costs and improved reliability of services for our customers.”
The energy storage systems will be connected to the Hydesville (West Bay) and Prospect Substations and will provide extensive power system optimisation capabilities - from spinning reserve capacity to improved frequency response, to enhanced grid stability. This project will also result in savings on fuel costs. These savings will be passed on to the customers.
“Energy storage has proven to be a game changer for our numerous island-based customers in the Caribbean and beyond to simultaneously lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy consumption, and improve grid reliability,” said Jon Rodriguez, Director, Engine Power Plants, Wärtsilä Energy in North America. “Wärtsilä provides industry-leading solutions that empower islanded grid operators to optimise and modernise their energy systems, and we are happy to assist CUC along this path.”
Each facility will include Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a fully integrated, modular and compact energy storage system, as well as the GEMS Digital Energy Platform, Wärtsilä’s sophisticated energy management system.
The systems will be delivered under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract and are expected to become operational in late 2023.