“The goal is to prove that microgrids can be an eco-friendly and financially beneficial alternative to costly subsea cables and diesel generators. In Europe alone there are a significant number of local communities that rely completely on diesel generators for the supply of power,” says Bernhard Kvaal of TrønderEnergi.
Enova organised a visit to Byneset
Enova organised recently a field trip to Byneset in Trondheim to present the local energy system, which is part of the innovation project Pilot-E. Using solar panels, a windmill, battery, and a hydrogen plant, farmer Lars Hoem will become self-sufficient in terms of renewable energy. Planning and development of the plant have been going on for almost two years, and the project is unique even in a global context.
“The power supply will be 95 percent renewable and just as stable as the ordinary power grid. The goal is that Hoem will be self-sufficient in terms of renewable energy over a period of two years,” says Kvaal.
Powel develops microgrid software
So far, the microgrid has been tested both in relation to supply quality, costs, and share of renewable energy.
“One of the challenges has been strong gusts of wind and offloading the grid in terms of voltage and frequency using the batteries. We are continuing working on this,” Kvaal says.
The IT company Powel has been a good partner for TrønderEnergi in this process. It is developing an application to help design and operate such microgrids.
“Our solution ensures that the different parts of the system are used as efficiently as possible. If the forecast is lots of wind, we know that the microgrid will have enough power from the windmill. If sunshine is expected, we can rely on the solar panels. The efficient operation of the microgrid is essential for the project to succeed and that it will be possible for the new electricity product to be used worldwide,” says Stein Danielsen of Powel.
Major global market potential
The market potential is huge, and both TrønderEnergi and Powel are aware of this. But first, they have to succeed in getting the microgrid to work without the help of the central power grid for a two-year period. Disconnection is likely to happen in April.
“We are very excited. It has been a pleasure to work with Lars Hoem, and we have had many good partners in the project. What remains is to get the hydrogen plant to work as intended, and then to disconnect from the central grid. We’re very much looking forward to what lies ahead,” says Bernhard Kvaal of TrønderEnergi.