Details emerge about solar-storage micro-grid project on Galapagos Islands

Total Eren's Kiamal Solar Farm in Ouyen, Victoria. Image by: Mars.

December 9 (Renewables Now) - Paris-based independent power producer (IPP) Total Eren and Ecuadorian renewables investor Gransolar said that they have received support from the governments of France and Ecuador for the solar-plus-storage micro-grid system they are about to build on the Galapagos Islands and added some details about the project.

In late August, the Gransolar-Total Eren consortium secured a 25-year concession in Ecuador's tender for the construction and operation of a 14.8-MWp solar PV farm, 40.9 MWh of battery storage, a transmission line and a micro-grid control system. For the duration of the tender, the project was known as Conolophus.

In a joint press release sent today, Total Eren and Gransolar said the project had been renamed and is now called E-Quator.

Gransolar launched the project in September 2018 as a private initiative, the press release reads. The project was then presented to the Ecuadorian ministry of energy non-renewable natural resources, which started a tender process in March 2020 to award the concession for the full implementation of the Conolophus system.

Total Eren joined Gransolar in July 2020, the companies now say.

As the tender proceeded, five companies and consortia were pre-qualified to participate in the process, but only the Gransolar-Total Eren tie-up ended up submitting technical and economic offers. Gransolar and Total Eren were pronounced winners in late August, and were officially awarded the project on September 8.

In today’s release, the partners say they will work together through a 50/50 joint venture (JV) they named E-Quator Energy. This entity will signed the 25-year concession agreement with the Ecuadorian authorities.

The micro-grid will integrate a solar farm, located on the Baltra Island, two batteries coupled with the solar farm on the Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island, a 44-kilometre sub-transmission line interconnecting the two islands and a micro-grid controller to operate the dispatch of all energy generation plants in the archipelago.

Total Eren and Gransolar will jointly design, finance, build and operate the system.

The E-Quator micro-grid will help the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, reduce diesel imports and consumption by around 1.6 million barrels per year. The share of renewables in the local power consumption is expected to rise to up to 70% from 15%, Total Eren and Gransolar said.

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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