Wärtsilä’s energy storage system will support Bahamas in achieving a sustainable and decarbonized future

Wärtsilä’s energy storage system will support Bahamas in achieving a sustainable and decarbonized future
Bahamas Power and Light’s Blue Hills Power Station.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The technology group Wärtsilä will supply a 25MW / 27MWh advanced energy storage system for Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) to meet The Bahamas’ spinning reserve requirements and significantly improve generation efficiency and system reliability for the island’s grid.

In 2019, Wärtsilä supplied BPL with a 132MW power plant operating on seven Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines. In addition to enhancing grid stability, the interplay between the existing power plant and the new energy storage system will also support the government of The Bahamas in its renewable integration plans. The Bahamian government aims to increase its share of renewable sources, notably solar, by 30 percent by 2030. Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform will seamlessly facilitate asset integration in the system.

We believe this energy storage solution will help us as we work to continue our reduction of operational costs on the island.

– Whitney Heastie, BPL CEO

The order was placed by BPL in July 2021 and the system is anticipated to be fully operational by mid-2022. The order comprises 27 units of Wärtsilä GridSolv Quantum energy storage system. The installation will be located at the Blue Hills Power Station and will be carried out by Wärtsilä under a full engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

With island grids, such as that of The Bahamas, grid resilience is critical. The balance between load and power generation needs to be constantly maintained to guard against instability caused by sudden load changes or extreme weather. Energy storage provides spinning reserve and grid stability, with constant management for an island’s grid’s operations. Wärtsilä’s GEMS Digital Energy Platform ensures the intelligent optimization and control of these microgrids, streamlining and synchronizing all assets and future-proofing the site, while ensuring backup power for predicted or unexcepted outages.

The Wärtsilä energy storage system will deliver notable benefits via spinning reserve support for the existing engine generating sets. This application will enable the engines to be run optimally, thereby reducing the overall fuel consumption, lessening exhaust emissions and effectively lowering engine maintenance costs. At the same time, the energy storage system adds capacity, lowers operating costs and stabilizes the grid.

BPL CEO Whitney Heastie.

BPL CEO Whitney Heastie said: “Wärtsilä won the bid with a solution that will greatly assist BPL in the process of improving system reliability and service quality on Nassau. In addition, we believe this energy storage solution will help us as we work to continue our reduction of operational costs on the island.”

Risto Paldanius, vice president, Americas, at Wärtsilä Energy commented: “The path to a decarbonized future on islands pairs flexibility solutions — advanced energy storage technology and balancing thermal generation — for optimized operations and grid reliability.

“Storage enables this system efficiency, while at the same time opening the door to future cost savings through the integration of additional renewables into the system. It is through this smart optimization that renewable targets become a reality.”

Wärtsilä’s fully integrated, modular GridSolv Quantum is controlled by the company’s unique and highly advanced GEMS Digital Energy Platform. GEMS provides portfolio and site-level energy asset control and optimization, allowing power plant owners to run their assets at peak efficiency to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions.