STUCO Solar Park

St. Eustatius is proud of their state-of-the-art solar park.

Diesel-free in two expansion stages

The first expansion stage went into operation back in spring 2016 after nine months: 1.89 MWp of solar power combined with 74 SMA Sunny Tripower 25000TL-30 inverters, the SMA Fuel Save Controller and the Sunny Central Storage 1000 help to reduce the consumption of the diesel generators by as much as 800,000 liters of fuel annually.

In the second expansion stage, the project partners doubled the solar output to 4.15 MW and increased the battery capacity to 5,900 kWh. The key component is the newly developed Sunny Central Storage 2200 battery inverter with grid-forming characteristics. This allows the diesel generators to be shut down fully automatically without compromising the stability of the frequency in the utility grid. The SMA Fuel Save Controller is responsible for real-time energy and power management and synchronizes diesel and battery operation intelligently and is fully automatic. Within milliseconds, the system compensates for the PV array’s power fluctuations caused by, for example, the exceptionally fast-moving clouds in this region in particular.

This means that the diesel generators can be switched off completely during the day. This is unnoticed by electricity consumers but has huge benefits for the electric utility company and the region. It is a pioneer for more diesel-free zones worldwide.

The system thankfully withstood hurricanes Irma and Maria, which swept across the region in September 2017.

System profile: St. Eustatius solar hybrid system

The vision of reducing St. Eustatius’ dependence on fossil fuels was realized by the local electric utility company Statia Utility Company (STUCO), the highly committed team of engineers from SMA, SMA Sunbelt Energy and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Customized hybrid system for a fossil-fuel-free electricity supply

  • PV system: 4.15 MWp
  • Storage capacity: 5.9 MWh
  • PV inverters: 74 x Sunny Tripower 25000, 2 x Sunny Central 1000
  • Batteries: Samsung lithium-ion NCM
  • Battery inverters: 1 x Sunny Central Storage 1000, 2 x Sunny Central Storage 2200
  • Solar energy fraction: 46%
  • Open- and closed-loop control: SMA Fuel Save Controller
  • Fuel savings: 5,500 liters daily, 1.8 million liters per year
  • CO2 savings: 4,560 metric tons per year
  • Project developer: SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH
  • Electric utility company: Statia Utility Company (STUCO)
  • Financial support: Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs