Bahamian utility maximizes grid resiliency with Wärtsilä battery system


Bahamas Power and Light Company Limited (BPL) will take advantage of a battery energy storage system supplied and installed by Finnish company Wärtsilä to optimize operations at its Blue Hills power plant in Nassau.

The energy storage system will provide spinning reserve services to improve the reliability and efficiency of the 132 MW BPL dual fuel power plant.

Whitney Heastie, CEO of BPL, said the project “will help us continue to reduce operating costs on the island”.

Heastie added that the storage system will help ensure grid stability, reduce fuel consumption and in doing so reduce greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate the integration of more energy capacity. renewables such as solar power and reduce the running hours of Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engines in Blue Hills.

Battery energy storage is a key focus area for the Bahamas, as the island seeks to meet a goal of expanding its renewable energy portfolio by 30% by 2030, according to a statement.

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The battery pack will provide backup power in the event of an outage to the Blue Hills power plant. The 25 MW / 27 MWh storage system is capable of responding in milliseconds and maintaining grid reliability for a period of 30 minutes in the event of an outage at Blue Hills, according to a statement.

BPL has secured funding from the Ministry of Finance and the Inter-American Development Bank to develop the project under the Reconstruction with Resilience in the Energy Sector in Bahamas program.

The project is expected to go live in July 2022.

Risto Paldanius, Vice President Americas at Wärtsilä Energy, added: “The path to a carbon-free future on the islands combines flexible solutions – advanced energy storage technology and balancing thermal generation – for optimized operations. and network reliability. Storage enables the efficiency of this system, while opening the door to future cost savings through the integration of additional renewable energy into the system. It is thanks to this intelligent optimization that renewable goals become a reality.

For island nations like the Bahamas, real-time exploitation of energy storage and generation assets is critical to maintaining a balance between energy production and demand. Both production and demand are subject to constant change due to factors such as severe weather events. Therefore, solutions such as a digital energy platform for the real-time operations of the distributed assets that BPL will leverage to maximize its storage plant are vital.

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