Renewable hybrid power plants are increasingly occupying the spotlight. They see photovoltaics, wind power and other renewable energies being paired with a storage system. Above all, hybrid power plants can secure power supply to stand-alone, off-grid regions as well as feed power into the system as evenly as possible and provide grid services.
The world’s largest PV/wind hybrid power plant is currently being developed in India. In August 2018, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a state initiative, announced the construction of a 160 megawatt (MW) installation in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Photovoltaics are expected to contribute 120 MW of energy, with wind power producing another 40 MW. The system is completed by a battery with a storage capacity of 40 MW. In Andhra Pradesh alone, combined PV/wind power plants with 3 gigawatts of capacity are to be built by 2022.
A community energy company based in the Eifel region of Germany has shared in the first positive experiences using a hybrid PV/wind power plant. There, a 5-MW solar park and a 3-MW wind power site were connected via a cable to a joint grid connection point. The combined use of these two elements means that only few of the system’s annual yields must be limited (approximately 0.5 percent). Additionally, energy is fed uniformly into the system, which benefits the stability of the power grid. In looking at these factors together, the hybrid PV/wind power plant achieves a high degree of use equaling up to 3,500 full-load hours per year. An important cost benefit of hybrid systems is provided by the savings in grid connection costs on account of the joint connection point. This in turn means that the system’s power generation costs can be reduced by 0.5 euro cents/kWh.