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EDA, the utility responsible for the production, distribution and commercialization of electricity in the nine Azorean islands, and Younicos have teamed up to develop what has been labelled as the world’s first MW-scale renewable energy system based on up to 100% solar and wind power. The system will be installed on Graciosa, an Azorean island.
Under the terms of the agreement, Younicos, a specialist in renewables based in Berlin, Germany, will set up and secure the financing required for the project from a “special project company” which will invest an initial amount of €25 million.
The system will include a 500kW solar plant, a wind park, battery storage and an energy management system. When operational, projected for 2014, the system will provide 70% of the 13 GWh of power consumed on Graciosa annually. Moreover, it is expected to save Portugal €1.5 million over the project’s 20-year lifespan.
Welcoming the project with open arms is Duarte Ponte, president of EDA, who stated, “I would like to thank Alexander Voigt and all the technical staff of Younicos, who worked with us for several years to put in place this final agreement which will make the production of electricity in Graciosa 70% renewable. The success of this project will be a milestone on the future of renewable energy in Azores and in all remote places of the world. We wish you all the success! Today, EDA is proud to have 30% of its electricity production from renewable energy. In the near future, we would like to have more than 50% of our electricity production coming from the geothermal energy, from the solar energy, from small hydro plants and from the wind. Graciosa will show that this is possible with the proper technology!”