Recharge invests in hybrid renewable energy storage project on Graciosa

Wind and solar power will replace fossil fuel generation on Graciosa. (Photo: Younicos)
Wind and solar power will replace fossil fuel generation on Graciosa. (Photo: Younicos)

The Danish financial investor Recharge will take a 50.1 percent stake in a hybrid renewable storage project on the Azorean island of Graciosa. The megawatt-scale grid-forming renewable energy system is developed by Younicos.

According to Younicos, the “island-mode” capability of the project’s battery system will enable up to 100% spontaneous renewable power penetration and allow the Portuguese island to replace around two-thirds of its fossil fuel generation with wind and solar power.

“This investment will have truly transformative impact far beyond Graciosa. Recharge is helping to create a whole new renewable energy asset class that will drive the implementation of low carbon – and low cost – technologies around the globe,” said Younicos CEO Stephen L. Prince. “Our technology allows us to use as many renewables as is economically optimal. This is not only drastically reducing CO2 emissions, but also lowering energy costs, since we are replacing expensive imported diesel fuel through locally produced renewable energy.”

Under the terms of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with local utility EDA, the expected savings are shared between the investors and Portuguese end consumers. Younicos and battery provider Leclanché, in which Recharge is an investor, announce that they are working on bringing similar solutions to the other Azorean islands and beyond.

Scott Macaw, co-founder and Director of Recharge commented: “The business model pioneered here makes the financing of the changeover to renewables an attractive investment that can be replicated wherever power is generated by expensive imported fuel.” Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché added: “This project marks the first time a megawatt-scale power system is being stabilized using batteries – without the need for thermal generators. We’re excited to be deploying our battery-based energy storage solutions for this pioneering project.”

According to Younicos, a 1MW PV power plant has just been completed on Graciosa. Lithium-ion cells which will power the system’s 3.2 MWh battery park, are currently being installed, as is a 4.5MW wind park. The grid-forming battery power plant is designed to balance short-term power fluctuations. This will allow the island to be powered by wind and solar energy, with the existing diesel needed only for back-up power during prolonged periods of unfavorable weather.

Ralf Ossenbrink / Younicos