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Nominated: Projects in Brazil, Australia, Senegal compete for Solar & Storage Live Awards

Malicounda solar-plus-storage project in Senegal, West Africa. Image: CGN Europe Energy.

A solar-plus-storage project in Brazil trialling different batteries, a 22MW solar farm with 2.4MW of battery storage in Senegal and NGK Insulators’ recent, huge project using sodium sulfur batteries in Abu Dhabi are among the nominees in this year’s Solar & Storage Live Awards: International project category.

The Solar Media editorial team, including editor Andy Colthorpe, group head of content John Parnell (who you may know from PV Tech) and UK editor Liam Stoker (Current±, Solar Power Portal) have been invited to join experts on the judging panel for this year’s awards, which will be held in the UK in October at the annual Solar & Storage Live trade exhibition and conference in Birmingham, England.

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In addition to numerous categories recognising hard work and innovation in the UK solar PV – and now energy storage – industries, the awards ceremony includes ‘International solar and / or energy storage project of the year’.

In our privileged role on the judging panel, we’ve been given access to all the info on the nominated projects. As such, they of course include some solar projects without storage, so here’s highlights of some of the very different projects up for consideration that do include it:

Brazil: ALSOL, based in Brazil, has submitted what is claimed to be the country’s first distributed generation project to use solar PV in combination with lead acid batteries, in the project’s first phase, then adding more solar and a lithium-ion battery system at a later stage. As well as being a technological first to explore the use of batteries, the project will also closely examine the economic case for storing and time-shifting solar energy to meet peak demand, as well as delivering ancillary services to the grid.

Australia: Construction had just begun on Katherine Solar and Storage project, in Australia’s Northern Territory, including a 3MW / 6MWh energy storage system alongside 33MWp of solar PV. The battery provides frequency services to the local grid, as well as providing ramp rate control for the PV farm. Nominated by BSR EPC, which has been awarded engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) duties, as well as designing the full system.

Senegal: Malicounda, a solar project planned to reach 100MW of generation capacity eventually, has begun with an initial 22MW of PV and 2.4MW of energy storage. Near to the Earth’s equator, the region is blessed with an abundance of sunlight. CGN Europe Energy, which has worked on and nominated the project for the awards, claims the project “acts as a backbone in the economy of Senegal with a stable electricity production of 37000MWh per year.

Abu Dhabi: covered this one extensively just after it was inaugurated – 15 systems installed across 10 sites in the UAE state add up to 108MW / 648MWh of sodium sulfur (NAS) batteries from NGK Insulators – the only company that makes the devices. Connected to the grid at HV/MW substations, the project’s aims include eliminating the use of diesel to meet peak loads and providing other services including frequency control and operating reserve.

French Polynesia: A luxury resort in French Polynesia once owned by film actor Marlon Brando is now committed to a fossil fuel-free future, and nominating project partner SMA has worked on delivering 1.3MW of PV and a 2.6MWh battery energy storage system, backed up by a 1.2MVA generator. Hotels in French Polynesia on average spend about 60% of their energy costs on air conditioning. Among other things, the project reduces the cost of running these air conditioning units onsite at ‘The Brando’ by 90%.

The projects will be judged on a number of key criteria including the possibility of scaling up and replicating them to create similar projects globally, as well as the detail and quality of information provided by project partners and nominating parties. The winner will be announced onstage at the Solar & Storage Live Awards 2019, in Birmingham, this October.

This year’s awards will be hosted by comedian Zoe Lyons. Image: Solar Media.

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