Total Eren & Gransolar To Build 14.8 MWp Microgrid Project In Galapagos Islands

Highlights :

  • The building os a solar powered project on the Galapagos is welcome, as the islands are a diversity hotspot, immortalised by Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution.
  • Islands across the world that are usually dependent on fossil fuels for obvious reasons until recently, will benefit hugely from a renewable transition faster to cut costs and clean up the environment.
Total Eren & Gransolar To Build 14.8 MWp Microgrid Project In Galapagos Islands

French energy major Total Eren, and Gransolar, an Ecuadorian developer have announced the joint design, development, financing, construction, and operation of a microgrid project in the Galápagos Islands.

The Galapagos, A World Heritage Site

The E-Quator Energy project will combine a 14.8 MWp solar photovoltaic plant with a 40.9 MWh electricity storage capacity. Located in the Galápagos Islands, declared by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage Site, the project will enable an increase of the share of renewables in the local electricity consumption from 15% to up to 70%.

The E-Quator project – formerly known as “Conolophus” – was launched by Gransolar in September 2018 as a private initiative. The project was presented to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Energy and Nongransolar, solar plant in galapagos islandsRenewable Natural Resources that decided to hold a Public Selection Process (Proceso Público de Selección) in March 2020. Total Eren joined Gransolar’s initiative in July 2020 to join the process, during which five companies were shortlisted by the Government of Ecuadoar. On September 8th,2021, Total Eren and Gransolar were officially awarded the project. The Partners will work together through a 50/50 joint venture company, “E-Quator Energy”, which will sign the concession agreement for 25 years with the Ecuadorian authorities.

This microgrid will integrate 4 components:

  • A 14.8 MWp solar photovoltaic solar farm to be located on a former military air base, on the Baltra Island;
  • Two Battery Energy Service Systems (BESS) coupled with the solar farm for a total discharge capacity of 40.9 MWh in Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island;
  • A 44 km sub-transmission line interconnecting Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island;
  • Finally, a Microgrid Controller which will operate the dispatch of all the energy generation assets in the archipelago.

Today, 85% of the Galápagos Islands’ electricity consumption relies on fossil fuels. The E-Quator project will increase the supply of electricity generated through renewable energy sources to up to 70%, while decreasing diesel imports and consumption by approximately 1.6 million barrels per year.

The Galapagos Islands were declared as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO and are well-known for their abundant wildlife. The Partners are committed to ensure that all steps of development, construction and operation of the project be made with the highest care and attention paid to the unique local biodiversity of the Archipelago.

In parallel, the project received on December 8th, 2021, the support of both Ecuadorian and French governments, with the signature in Quito of a Declaration of Intent by the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, M. Franck Riester, the Ecuadorian Minister of Production, M.Julio José Prado, and the Ecuadorian Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, M. Juan Carlos Bermeo.

Pablo López, General Manager of Gransolar commented: “It has been 5 years of hard work to develop this emblematic project with the purpose of conserving the environment. As an Ecuadorian company, we feel an added level of responsibility to accelerate renewable projects in the country, especially in a place as unique as the Galápagos Islands.

Island nations and territories have been a special focus of the ISA too in terms of cutting down  fossil fuel use and replacing it with renewable energy, mostly solar.

About Total Eren

Founded in 2012 by Pâris Mouratoglou and David Corchia, Total Eren develops, finances, builds and operates renewable energy power plants (solar, wind, hydro) representing a gross capacity of more than 3,500 MW in operation or under construction worldwide.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International