Younicos AG/ Germany
Azores island of Graciosa set to become energy self-sufficient and independent
Am Studio 16
Younicos was founded in 2008 with the aim to develop power grid solutions with storage units for an economic and reliable energy supply from renewable resources. In an exemplary project on the Azores island of Graciosa the company is working on the world's first stable and stand-alone energy network with up to 100 % renewables. The system it has been developing over the past four years guarantees a reliable supply also at night and when there is no wind. The 4,700 residents' annual electricity needs will be supplied by over 75 % from wind and solar power starting 2013. The diesel generator can remain switched off most of the time. Thanks to intelligent control technology sodium sulphur batteries provide stability in the autonomous grid without the rotating mass of fossil generators. The combined wind and solar energy generation will not only offset CO2 emissions. Over its lifetime the new system will also be more competitive than the current electricity production from expensive, imported diesel. Berlin based Younicos built a one-third-scale model of the island as a test site at its headquarters. Producers and consumers are simulated in real time using high-resolution measurement data from the island to evaluate future energy delivery in true-to-life conditions. The exemplary Graciosa project shows that a full supply through renewable energy sources can already be accomplished with the storage technology available today. It thereby serves as a model for isolated communities and is planned to be adapted for use in Germany or Europe.