Elisa Fedato: Feasibility analysis of GRIDSOL technology in Fuerteventura: A Case Study, MSc Thesis, DTU, 2018


The increasing penetration of renewable energy in energy systems has raised major concerns
in terms of intermittency, unpredictability and variability with the consequence
of raising pressure on the Transmission System Operator (TSO) to balance demand and
supply. Until now, TSOs have mainly relied on conventional thermal power plants to
ensure security of supply and grid stability. For this purpose, the European-funded
project GRIDSOL promotes Smart Renewable Hubs (SRHs) which provide flexible
power generation on selected critical locations, such as non-peninsular system. Based
on Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), GRIDSOL is able to combine different renewable
and storage technologies. Such innovative solution finds purpose mainly in non-interconnected
energy systems, based on aged, fossil-fuel conventional technologies. In
this context, the island of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) is selected as case study to
test GRIDSOL’s resilience and adaptability.

The present study examines first the integration of the GRIDSOL technology in the
energy system of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote using an energy system optimisation
model. Secondly, the analysis focuses on the private and socio-economic feasibility of
implementing GRIDSOL. In terms of energy system, the Balmorel model is chosen to
obtain the optimal configuration of GRIDSOL technologies in Fuerteventura. Together
with outputs from the optimisation model, such as electricity generation and investment
in new GRIDSOL capacity, the most relevant economic figures are further analysed via
a custom-made cash flow tool, designed for the specific case-study. In both private and
socio-economics, key indicators such as Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of
Return (IRR) are used to assess the feasibility of GRIDSOL in Fuerteventura.

Private and socio-economic evaluations have yielded negative NPVs and IRRs for each
combination of technology in GRIDSOL. Several sensitivities on subsidy schemes, such
as investment grants and feed-in premiums, have highlighted an higher profitability
potential for the CSP+PV and CSP+GT+PV combinations. From a carbon emission
perspective, the viability of GRIDSOL in Fuerteventura could pave the way towards a
decarbonised future for the island. By exploiting solar firm hybrid plants, GRIDSOL
is able to further reduce the risk of unpredictability and relieve the pressure from the
TSO, while preserving the uniqueness and fragility of the local environment.