The Case for Hybrid Energy Plants

The hybridization of existing renewable sources is being explored globally. The likes of Floating PV, Hydropower, and wind have proven to be successful energy sources when used in isolation. However, there's growing awareness of the potential that lies in integrating two or more of these sources in a hybrid format. Hydropower reservoirs alone cover a surface of more than 250 thousand square kilometers worldwide—enough to host enough floating solar capacity to produce 2.5 times the electricity produced by all the underlying hydropower capacity. Therefore, it's no surprise that combining hydropower generation with floating solar panels can yield promising results. One such project is already taking place on a large scale in Thailand: In Portugal, an array of 840 floating solar panels was installed on the reservoir of a hydropower facility on the Rabagão river with a capacity of 220 kilowatts that exceeded expectations, according to EDP Renewables, a global renewable energy company. The additional power output from the floating solar array can smooth out the output of the hydroelectric plant. The existence of power distribution infrastructure on location is an additional plus.

 In a marine environment, the combination of renewable energy sources is a promising solution that is supported by many synergies, such as the increase in energy production and the reduction in operation and maintenance costs. Previous studies have shed light on the synergies between wind and wave energy, including topics such as the optimal array design and the reduction in operation and maintenance costs. Wind-solar farm synergies remain largely unexplored, and only their combined use with aquaculture has been proposed. Bearing in mind this scenario, the potential of combined wind-solar farms and other similar integrations ought to be comprehensively evaluated.

At the Floating Solar PV Forum, Filipe Guerra, a Project Manager at  EDP Produção will speak on:

Hybridization Project of Alqueva Hydro Power Plant with a 5MW Floating PV and a Battery Storage System • What are the ideal conditions for hydropower-PV hybridization? Is proximity the main factor? • National Regulation: From laws to real live implementation (Environmental permitting, Electrical licensing, System Operator demands) • The role of VPP and combined market dispatch • Internal optimized control of multiple technologies