Ignitis group DSO „Energijos skirstymo operatorius“ (ESO) together with Ignitis Innovation Hub has launched two pilot sites of energy microgrid technology. These two completely autonomous systems are created to supply electricity 24/7 for clients, who are located in distant and more rural areas. This solution will create an opportunity to completely disconnect the pilot sites from the national low voltage grid if claimed successfully.
In these particular locations, the current network is reaching long distances over highly forestry areas, or even lake, resulting in relatively frequent electricity supply disturbances, caused by vegetation impacts. Additionally, it becomes a challenge to ensure the voltage standard for the customers, especially during higher peak consumption periods. The traditional way of solving such problems is to reconstruct the power lines. However, due to geographical difficulty and landscape, the reconstruction costs are overweighting the rational use of CAPEX. Reacting to the concerns that the customers have, we decided to act differently and employ a quick and innovative solution – microgrid.
Microgrid is a technology mix - it contains a Solar photovoltaic (PV) system, which is connected to the insulated container with batteries and inverters. This serves as a main power source for the clients. However, having inconsistent weather conditions for the solar system to supply the needs fully at any time, a diesel generator is required as a back-up battery charging source.
The technology was tested in 2020.
The results of the project showed, that such microgrids can be applied to very specific locations, and additional evaluation of competencies is needed to maintain such systems needs to be considered. Microgrids were dismantled and clients' connections were upgraded. Hardware will be used in other projects.