GE Renewable Energy to Supply 1st Integrated Solar-Wind Hybrid Project In US
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GE Renewable Energy has been selected to supply wind and solar components for the first ever US commercial integrated solar-wind hybrid project. While the project is small, it’s nevertheless a good start. The 4.6 megawatt project is a community project set for Red Lake Falls in Minnesota, and to be developed by North American developer Juhl Energy. GE Renewable Energy has been contracted to supply two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy’s Onshore Wind business, as well as 1 megawatt (MW) of solar power conversion equipment provided by GE’s Current business.
The 4.6 MW project is set to enter commercial operation later this year, and according to GE could be the beginning of a much larger sector. Specifically, GE highlights a report from Global Market Insights that predicts the global market for Hybrid Solar Wind projects could reach as much as $1.47 billion by 2024. The US sector size was already valued at $195 million in 2015, and is expected to reach over $300 million by 2024.
The Red Lake Falls project will make use of GE’s Wind Integrated Solar Energy technology platform to properly integrate the solar panels through the wind turbine’s converter so that both wind and solar share all the same balance of plant — a move which GE estimates will increase system net capacity by 3% to 4% and annual energy production by up to 10%.
“By leveraging the complementary nature of wind and solar, this unique project shows how GE is driving technology innovation that will help customers deliver more renewable energy in an even more efficient manner,” said Pete McCabe, President & CEO, Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy.
“Most energy experts agree that distributed generation will play a major role in the implementation of renewable energy in the US electrical market in the years to come,” added Dan Juhl, CEO of Juhl Energy. “Juhl Energy’s package design, with the GE hybrid technology, can economically blend clean, renewable energy into the grid at lower cost, plus add reliability to the system.”