The UAE's Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) has launched a new public-private partnership project to design 100% renewable energy micro-grids in Abu Dhabi. GGGI has joined forces with Masdar Institute (MI) and the Research Institute for Industrial Science and Technology (RIST) in Pohang of South Korea to design a cost-effective micro-grid capable of operating on 100% renewable energy.
The project is supported by approximately $1m from GGGI and POSCO, the world's fourth largest steel producer.
The joint project team has unveiled a concept design for an island-based renewable micro-grid
The joint project team has unveiled a concept design for an island-based renewable micro-grid. It consists of a control system, energy storage, and a high-efficiency DC distribution system. It is designed to use renewable energy sources such as solar PV, small wind power and biofuel production from waste and algae. The micro-grid system can be linked to local seawater desalination and electric-powered boats for island access.
MI proposed an initial concept for the project to GGGI in October 2010.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE's special envoy for energy and climate change and CEO of Masdar, said: "This project is another powerful example of the leading role Abu Dhabi and the UAE are playing in clean energy innovation. Masdar has funded development projects on small islands that can potentially benefit from micro-grids, and we are interested in their potential role in supporting renewable energy deployment in rural areas."
The project will benefit from the synergy between Masdar Institute and RIST
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, president of Masdar Institute, said the project will benefit from the synergy between Masdar Institute and RIST, which already has implemented a similar project in Korea.
"Micro-grids are gaining increasing popularity as a key enabler of smart grid infrastructure and an important technology in expanding electricity access to areas with weak or non-existent power infrastructure.
"Such grids are essentially small, low to medium voltage power systems that can operate in isolation or connected to a larger transmission system.
Featuring advanced control systems that allow them to operate in grid-connected or isolated mode, they can also include up to 100% renewable energy
"Featuring advanced control systems that allow them to operate in grid-connected or isolated mode, they can also include up to 100% renewable energy, therefore providing zero-carbon power," said Dr. Scott Kennedy, dean for research at Masdar Institute.
The joint team conducted a pre-workshop in Pohang, Korea in July 2012 and visited a potential demonstration site in Abu Dhabi last month to set up the concept design.
The team will develop a UAE-tailored micro-grid model and work on an action plan for a subsequent implementation project until March 2013. The developed micro-grid model will be highlighted during the World Future Energy Forum in January 2013 in Abu Dhabi.