The two companies installed the demonstrator – which consists of a V112-3.0MW turbine and a new 372kW solar PV array – at EDPR’s Janda III wind farm in Cádiz, south-west Spain.
Power from the solar PV panels is fed to the turbine as direct current, which is then converted and transformed by the turbine’s power conversion system, which Vestas upgraded especially for the project, to export power to the grid.
By connecting wind and solar through the turbine’s electronics and using its full-scale converter, the number of converters is reduced, the two companies explained.
This contributes to lower equipment costs and a lower cost of energy, they added.
The demonstrator is part of Vestas’ efforts to balance energy supply with grid demand and part of EDPR’s research and development, the companies stated.
The demonstrator (above) combines a 3MW wind turbine with a 372kW solar PV array
Bautista Rodriguez, technical director at EDPR, said: "The development and running of this demonstrator is an interesting opportunity to test some of our hypotheses on the hybrid power plants of the future.
"Furthermore, it gives us an opportunity to explore wind and solar technology synergies in close collaboration with Vestas."
In an interview with Windpower Monthly following the release of the Danish manufacturer’s financial results in February, Vestas’ senior vice president for communication, Morten Dyrholm said that the company intended to explore the potential of hybrid projects.
Following the installation of the demonstrator at Janda III, Vestas’ senior vice president for innovations and concepts, Bo Svoldgaard, said: "This project demonstrates how wind and solar, through their complementarity, bring the cost of energy further down and can deliver stable energy production.
"The learnings will accelerate the execution of our strategy of integrating and combining renewable power as the market looks to absorb more renewable power in the future."