Load test passed: Hybrid power plant in the Galapagos runs on jatropha oil

The staff of EEPG, Siemens and Lahmeyer International are on the home stretch.
The staff of EEPG, Siemens and Lahmeyer International are on the home stretch.
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Hybrid Power Plant


Bad Vilbel - Hesse - Germany

BAD VILBEL, Germany - Oct. 30, 2018 - PRLog -- Starting at the end of 2018, a hybrid power plant is to supply the Galapagos island of Isabela with electricity largely generated from renewable energy. A PV system and diesel generators running on pure jatropha oil take over this task. The vegetable oil is harvested and produced in Manabí on Ecuador's mainland and extracted from ripe nuts of the jatropha curcas plant. This biofuel is an integral part of the "Zero Fossil Fuels in Galapagos" initiative. Ecuador's Government started it in 2008 with the aim of replacing fossil fuels in the Galapagos by 2020.

The project has now taken another big step towards commercial operation, as the thermal part of the station has now successfully passed its load test. On 28 September 2018, Lahmeyer handed over the provisional acceptance inspection certificate for this part of the power plant to the contractor Siemens. After completion of the EPC work it is expected that Siemens will receive the acceptance inspection certificate for the entire hybrid power plant at the end of the year. After this, the 24-month guarantee period for the plant begins.

Following comprehensive training, the staff of Galapagos power supplier Elecgalapagos (EEPG) took over responsibility for running the station in October. Experts from Siemens are providing the staff with support. Lahmeyer provides owner's engineer services to the Ministry of Energy in Ecuador for this project. The German development bank KfW provided the majority of the finance for the project in the form of a subsidy.

The hybrid power plant in Isabela has five units total a combined output of 1,625 kW. These are in addition to a 950 kWp photovoltaic plant and a 660 kW/333 kWh lithium-ion energy storage facility. This makes it possible to operate in diesel-off mode when the sun shines, in order to reduce the fuel consumption of the plant. The units are run on pure jatropha vegetable oil, with diesel fuel as back-up fuel.

More information on Lahmeyer International: https://www.lahmeyer.de/en/home/

Sabine Wulf
Head of Marketing Communications & CSR
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