Another “extraordinary month” for renewable energy in Scotland

ERI June 2017
Source: Scottish Renewables (2017) https://www.scottishrenewables.com/sectors/renewables-in-numbers/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social%20Post

The month of May showed that renewables can still play their part in providing large amounts of electricity even in summer months. Wind turbines alone provided enough electricity to supply 95% of Scottish homes thanks to windy weather. The 863,495MWh of electricity provided to the grid was an incredible increase of 20% compared to May 2016.

Solar energy was also increasingly able to supply 100% of electricity needs to houses fitted with panels across a number of areas in Scotland. Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Lewick houses fitted with photovoltaic panels benefited from 100% of their average use generated from the sun. Solar hot water panels also provided 90% of household’s average hot water needs in the same Scottish areas.

Across the United Kingdom there was also records broken on the 26th May with the National Grid reported a peak of 8.5GWh over a half hour period at midday. This was almost a quarter of total UK demand.

Scotland continues to increase its renewable energy capacity with an average annual increase of over 660MW since the end of 2008. Total installed renewables capacity sat at 8642GW at the end of 2016 of which the breakdown can be found below. This ever-increasing renewables capacity allows Scotland to reach renewable energy targets and climate change targets whilst still exporting low carbon electricity to its neighbours.

Renewable energy demonstration network to be established in North Karelia, Finland

Solar PV Joensuu
A Solar PV of 27 kW, Etra / Green Park, Joensuu.

Poveria Biomassasta Project (Power from the Biomasses), collaborating with the NPA Project GREBE, is establishing a network of renewable energy demonstration sites in North Karelia, Finland.

Several of the sites, such as Eno Energy Cooperative or small-scale combined heat and power of Kuittila Power Ltd., are already famous examples of sustainable energy at the local level. Together with updates of current sites, there are number of new examples for demonstrating new technologies and business models. Poveria Biomassasta will gather the energy sites as a demonstration network and provide access to them through the GREBE Renewable Energy Business Portal.http://www.renewablebusiness.eu/

The energy enterprises in North Karelia have joint development on the integration of solar energy solutions into district heating plants – and a new project, Poveria auringosta (Power from the Sun), has been launched for the purpose. The project will support attending enterprises in energy system planning and carrying out the investments and follow-up. In addition, there has been new interest in energy storage opportunities in the region, and several investments for energy storage are prepared. The practices in wood energy, technology manufacturing, and hybrid systems will also be demonstrated through the network.

The renewable energy demonstration network in North Karelia will be launched at the end of 2017. Karelia UAS will provide further information of the demonstration network and available case examples through the GREBE and Poveria Biomassasta projects.

Solar energy technology demonstration starts in North Karelia

sirkkala-solar-energy-for-29-9-2016-blog

Choosing the most suitable PV or solar thermal system for you is not always easy.

Karelia UAS has invested in number of different solar PV and thermal technologies. Sirkkala Energy Park will house five different PV panel and inverter combinations, four solar thermal collector types and one PV-T hybrid panel system.

Various different PV technologies are commercially available and the most common and the most promising ones were acquired to Sirkkala Energy Park. Silicon polycrystalline and monocrystalline cells dominate the markets with nearly 90 % market share. Monocrystalline based PV-systems have lower production and investment costs compared to polycrystalline cells, but what they gain in investment costs will be lost in efficiency in most cases. Thin cell PV technologies will be demonstrated in the form of CIGS (Copper Inidium Gallium Selenide) and amorphous silicon. There are also various emerging technologies being researched, but most of them are not yet commercially available.

Various types of PV system architectures and technologies will be demonstrated, including single panel power optimisers, panels in series with maximum power point tracking (MPPT), panels with microinverters and mobile thin cell technologies. Total gross area of installed PV will be 80 m² and total peak power over 11 kW.

Solar thermal collectors are used to produce heat by absorbing sunlight. Two types of main technologies exists; evacuated tube collectors and flat panel collectors. Total of three types of flat panel collectors with different absorber material (copper, aluminium and stainless steel) and one type of evacuated tube collector will be demonstrated. Gross area of solar thermal collectors will be 32 m².

Hybrid PV/Thermal –panels are also demonstrated to assess the feasibility of this technology. Size of the hybrid panel array will be 8 m² with peak power of 1,1 kWp.

According to Project coordinator Mr. Markus Hirvonen, after installation of solar systems the Sirkkala Energy Park will be able to provide unique information on solar energy technologies and the characteristics of each different setup.

“The different solar energy setups provide new information on solar technologies in North Karelian environment and makes it easier for consumers and companies to make good solar PV and thermal investment decisions.

Within the GREBE –project context, Sirkkala Energy Park provides new insights into the market access paths of modern RE solutions, and their business opportunities and challenges.

Sirkkala Energy Park, located in Sirkkala campus of Karelia UAS in Joensuu, is a research, development and education facility of RE technologies. The energy system established in 2015 includes different solar and wood based i.e. a modern small-scale combined heat and power (CHP) -plant fueled with locally produced woodchips.

Farm Power Supplies Local Renewable Energy from Small-scale Producers

Karelia UAS 04-08-2016
Farm Power production by PV at Itikka Farm, Northern Savo, Finland

Farm Power by Oulun Energia Ltd. is a local energy from Finnish small-scale producers. Farm Power electricity is generated using micro and small scale generating plants used principally for generating electricity for the producers’ own needs. When generation capacity exceeds the producer’s own demand, electricity is sold to the grid. Farm Power is the winner of annual Climate Award, Ilmastoteko, in 2014.

Producers of Farm Power electricity are committed to the use of renewable sources of energy, such as wood, hydro, wind and solar power. External experts certify the metering, calculation and tracking procedures used in the production of Farm Power.

Annual net metering of the Farm Power allows producers to utilise their full production capacities and provides a possibility purchase the produced surplus back later on. Farm Power differs from other energy products as every producer can set the price of electricity they generate to the grid.

Farm Power is a concept supporting the market access of micro- and small-scale renewable energy. Market access paths of RE and energy storage technologies are investigated in detail in the GREBE project.

More Information at: Farm Power

PV considered feasible at farm-scale in Finland

 

Karelia UAS 07-07-2016

A dairy farm located in Kitee, North Karelia, invested in 22+11 kWp photovoltaic system in June 2014. The system has been now operating two years and the experience has been positive. The annual production of 30 000 kWh is about 25% of the overall electricity consumption.

The PV investments have gained considerable interest among local farmers who often have the annual electricity consumption between 50 000 to 150 000 kWh, some even 350 000 kWh. Electricity consumption of cooling the milk down to 4 °C, as well as effective air-conditioning, require significant amount of electricity. On the other hand, farms usually have suitable sunny fields and roof surface areas for PV plants.

The local company, Mirotex ltd. has established system in Kitee together with technology supplier Green Energy Finland – the estimated payback times is below 8-9 years with 30% investment support. The PV plant was provided as a turnkey solution.

The farmer owning the system is very happy for his decision and emphasizes the benefits of having a local supplier and thus the service and maintenance easily available.

The established farm-scale plants have received considerable attention – new investments are planned and decided in other farms, housing associations and in industry/commerce. The Finnish GREBE partner, Karelia UAS, invests in demonstration PV plant.The investment is part of the Sirkkala Energy Park and will provide open-access information for all interested stakeholders.

More information available at: Green Energy Finland, Mirotex Oy.

GREBE Project meets in Inverness

The GREBE Project met in Scotland last week for their third project meeting.  As part of the meeting, GREBE met with another NPA funded project ‘FREED’ on Monday 5th June to discuss synergies between the two projects.  We then had two days for meetings to discuss the project activities and the reports on policy initiatives, funding mechanisms and climatic challenges of the NPA region which we will publish in September.  On the fourth day of our meeting, our Scottish partner, the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) organised site visits to look at renewable energy technologies in use in different areas.

Our first visit was to Dingwall Wind Co-Op http://dingwallwind.org.uk/.  The Dingwall Wind Co-op owns and runs a 250kW wind turbine just above Dingwall in Ross-shire.  The turbine is the first 100% co-operatively owned wind development in Scotland. The co-op was launched in September 2013 and the turbine was commissioned on the 16th of June 2014.  There are 179 members of the co-op, 90% of whom are from the local area. The co-op will contribute to a community fund estimated at between £2000 and £8000/year. Members of the co-op receive a good return on their investment and EIS tax relief. The landowners, who originated the project, receive a rental payment for use of their land.

Dingwall Co-op

Our next visit to John McKenzie at Scroggie Farm http://flyingfarmer.co/john-mckenzie/green-energy.  Using his own farm as a starting point, in 2009 John took his various experiences, particularly those from visiting the remote islands of Scotland, and embarked on a number of projects to promote local energy production and saving. The result is a farm that harnesses the wind, rain and sun for energy production.  The systems at the farm include Wind, Hydro(on and off grid), Solar PV, Solar Gain, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Electric Car.  Off-grid hydro equipment supplied by Powerspout Hydro Turbines.

We then visited to Black Isle Brewery http://www.blackislebrewery.com/, which is an organic brewery and use a biomass fed boiler to heat their HLT.

Our last visit of the day was to see a new 4MW biomass steam boiler at Tomatin Distillery http://www.tomatin.com/.  This biomass boiler is fuelled by locally produced wood pellets, provided by Balcas which allows Tomatin to displace the majority of the distillery’s heavy fuel oil and, in doing so, cut its carbon emissions.

 

Sinikasvis – Biomass-based CHP and PV at farm-scale

Sinikasvis image 09-06-2016

Sinikasvis is a limited partnership located in Sukeva, Northern Savo. The berry farm has unique energy production system consisting of a biomass –based co-production of heat by Spanner Re2 unit and 15 kW PV system.

The Finnish GREBE partners, LUKE and Karelia UAS, visited Sinikasvis for compiling a case study for the GREBE project on biomass-based CHP. The recently invested system, Spanner Re2 (30 kW for electricity, 80 kW for heat) is the first of a kind in the region, but has number of references around Europe. The energy consumption (140 000 kWh/a) is highest in winter peak times, but also in late summer as berry farm needs energy for freezers and dryers. The woodchips are high quality (below 10% moisture and even-sized) and produced by the farmer form his own forest.

Sinikasvis is part of the E-farm network demonstrating renewable energy solutions in Finland. The farm is also producer of Farmivirta – Farm Power – concept of Oulun Energia, selling renewable electricity produced by micro- and small-scale producers.

The GREBE project will prepare a case study report about the Sinikasvis farm, which will then be available as good example case for biomass-based CHP solution for the Northern Periphery regions and GREBE partner countries.

More information available at: E-Farm (In Finnish); Spanner Re2; Farmivirta