Wind, solar hybrid project underway in Minnesota - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar, Wind  -  February 23, 2017

Wind, solar hybrid project underway in Minnesota

Photo provided by GE Renewable Energy. 

The first commercial-scale integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project in the U.S. is expected to enter operations later this year

The 4.6 MW community-based project in Red Lake Falls, Minn., is being developed by Juhl Energy. It will use two wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy's Onshore Wind business and be supported by 1 MW of solar power conversion equipment from by GE Current, according to a Feb. 22 news release from GE. 

GE said the project will use its Wind Integrated Solar Energy technology platform, also known as WiSE, to integrate the solar panels through the wind turbine's converter directly so both wind and solar share all the same balance of plant, increasing system net capacity by 3-4% and annual energy production by up to 10%. The hybrid design gives the project the ability to produce power when it is most needed: essentially, the solar provides summer peak energy, and the wind provides winter peak energy, according to GE. 

A recent report from Global Market Insights Inc. forecast that the U.S. hybrid solar wind market size was valued at $195 million in 2015 and is estimated to top $300 million by 2024.

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