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Voltalia commissions solar-plus-storage project on French Guiana with 10.6MWh BESS


French renewable energy company Voltalia has completed the expansion of a renewable energy plant in French Guiana, adding a battery energy storage system (BESS) of 10.6MWh.

The Paris-listed company announced the commissioning of the Sable Blanc solar-plus-storage project yesterday (10 May). It combines a 5MW solar PV plant with the 5MW/10.6MWh BESS, and its commercial operation comes 18 months after the start of construction.

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Sable Blanc is an expansion of an existing renewable energy complex called Toco which, combined with its existing BESS, brings its total energy storage capacity to 27MWh, and 19MW of power. Commissioning has come a bit later than expected, with an initial target of late 2022.

French Guiana is an overseas department of France, located on the northeast coast of South America.

The Sable Blanc BESS will timeshift the solar PV to the evening once production tails off under a 20-year tariff agreement and will replace diesel generator capacity. The existing BESS in Toco is mainly providing frequency regulation as well as arbitrage.

The project is one of only a handful of large-scale, grid-connected BESS projects in South America outside of Chile, where the market is booming after a new law was passed late last year to incentivise energy storage and EV adoption.

One BESS solution provider, On.Energy, last week told that the Latin American grid-scale market may struggle to attract capital in light of the Inflation Reduction Act, which has made the US more attractive.

Voltalia is also active in the UK BESS market, last year commissioning a 32MW/32MWh project near Bristol, covered by our sister site Current.

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