Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply the ‘engineered equipment delivery’ (EEQ) of a 40 MW/80 MWh DC-coupled solar plus storage system to the Hickory Park Solar project in Georgia, USA. The owner of the project is RWE Renewables. The Wärtsilä system will enable a subsidiary of RWE Renewables, Hickory Park Solar, to sell nearly 200 MW of generation from the solar PV panels to Georgia Power Company.
Wärtsilä’s GEMS digital energy platform will control the entire hybrid plant, which will consist of nearly 200 MW of solar PV coupled with an 80 MWh GridSolv Quantum energy storage system. GEMS monitors, synchronises, and optimises generation assets at increments of 100 mS, using machine learning and historic and real-time data analytics to calibrate the type of generation needed at any specific time.
The Wärtsilä IntelliBidder auto-bidding solution will allow Hickory Park Solar to provide Georgia Power a day-ahead firming solar plus storage profile, which will improve the predictability of the intermittent generation. Cloud-based IntelliBidder uses machine learning and algorithms based on automated and forecasted data, taking real-time trading and combining it with a smart control platform to provide value-based asset management and portfolio optimisation.
The storage component consists of GridSolv Quantum, Wärtsilä’s next-generation energy storage system. The project is currently designed with CATL batteries. The co-located energy storage system will be DC-coupled with the solar array, allowing, says Wärtsilä, a number of benefits, such as improved system efficiency, lower balance of plant costs, and clipped solar recapture. The stored energy can be introduced into the grid at the appropriate time, maximising the value of the system’s generation.
Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for September 2021, and the plant is expected to commence commercial operations in November.