GE Renewable Energy to equip first U.S. integrated solar-wind hybrid project
The 4.6MW community based project in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, developed by Juhl Energy, will use two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy’s Onshore Wind business supported by 1MW of solar power conversion equipment provided by GE’s Current business. The project is expected to enter commercial operation in August, 2017.
The project will use GE’s Wind Integrated Solar Energy (WiSE) technology platform to integrate the solar panels through the wind turbine’s converter directly so both wind and solar share all the same balance of plant, increasing system net capacity by 3-4% and annual energy production by up to 10%.
The hybrid design gives the project the ability to produce power when it is most needed. Basically, the solar provides summer peak energy, and the wind provides winter peak energy.
The global market for Hybrid Solar Wind projects could reach $1.47 billion by 2024, according to a report by Global Market Insights, Inc. U.S. hybrid solar wind market size was valued at $195 million in 2015 and is estimated to reach over $300 million by 2024.
GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 57,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity by supplying more than 30,000 GE wind turbines in more than 35 different countries.
This new contract demonstrates GE’s ability to provide a full range of technology solutions that help balance the intermittent nature of both wind and solar power. ■