The microgrid's solar array, Shuanghu, Tibet. Image: Sungrow.
Chinese inverter manufacturer Sungrow has supplied its inverter and battery storage technologies to a large-scale solar-plus-storage microgrid project in a remote area of Tibet.
Sungrow has a US$170 million tie-up elsewhere in China with energy storage battery manufacturer Samsung SDI in the form of a joint venture (JV), to deliver whole energy storage systems (ESS) including energy management, battery and inverters. However in this latest project Sungrow on its own delivered inverters and batteries to an installation in the world’s highest county, Shuanghu, in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China.
The Shuanghu project is a microgrid to electrify a rural community of some 14,000 people who live at an elevation of some 5,000 metres above sea level. Sungrow provided 20MW of inverters, 13MW for solar PV and 7MW for energy storage. The system can be remotely monitored and Sungrow claims it can be successfully run by an off-site team.
According to the company, the region’s temperatures can include extremes of as low as 40c below freezing and average at -5c. In these challenging conditions, the company touted the suitability of its containerised storage solutions, which it said are standardised to keep installation costs down.
In a recent research brief, Asia Europe Clean Energy Advisory Co Ltd (AECEA) said China could install as much as 24GW of energy storage by 2020 under an optimistic forecast or 14GW by that year under more conservative “business-as-usual” scenarios.