The Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC), a public technology centre of the Regional Government, works to maximize RES penetration in insular systems. ITC also supports the Canary Islands Government’s international cooperation policy by developing projects for electricity and water supply to African villages using RES.
The Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC), a public technology centre of the Regional Government, works to maximize RES penetration in insular systems. Of particular interest to ITC is the dynamic study of the grids (stability) towards increasing RES injection, the development of micro-/ and mini-grid concepts for urban or rural areas and even for entire islands (100% RES self-sufficiency models), and the development of specific energy-climate models to reliably predict wind or solar power production. 15 years ago, ITC began designing and installing “conventional” RES-hybrid systems for rural areas of the Canary Islands and West African villages. More recently, at its Pozo Izquierdo facilities (southeast of Gran Canaria island), ITC installed two RES-Hydrogen systems that are currently in operation and providing experience in different aspects of integration of H2 technologies into high RES penetration micro-grids (including transport fuel production). ITC is integrating all its small scale RES systems and energy storage capacities into a self-sufficient micro-grid. ITC distributed generation laboratory is the R&D infrastructure supporting this and other more ambitious initiatives.
ITC vision is that the Canarian Archipelago, given its particular characteristics (insular systems of different sizes, abundant RES potential –different sources-, important natural and biodiversity heritage, etc.), are perfect natural laboratories for testing and demonstrating new energy technologies in real conditions, as well as their commercial implementation. These new technologies include energy storage (particularly for excess RES that cannot be absorbed by the grids), development of 100% energy self- sufficiency models (with exclusive use of RES) and micro-/minigrids with high RES penetration and RES forecasting, including advanced ICTs and sustainable mobility concepts (e.g. V2G technologies). Given the high conventional generation costs and the relatively low RES costs (wind electricity production cost is less than 0.05 €/kWh), the Canary Islands could in the short term achieve grid parity, and in this sense pioneer the change to a RES based energy system. Models tested on the islands could be exported or extrapolated to other islands, regions of developing countries and even other regions in continental Europe.
ITC also supports the Canary Islands Government’s international cooperation policy by developing projects for electricity and water supply to African villages using RES.
Small stand-alone reverse osmosis desalination plants powered by PV have been successfully installed in Tunisia and Morocco during the past years. Currently, ITC is designing micro-grids with high RES penetration for villages in Southern Morocco (Sous Massa Draa region) and the Cape Verde islands (average population of target villages: 300-500 inhabitants).