The biggest off grid solar system on Balearic Islands
In August 2012 Terravita Renovables completed the biggest registered stand alone solar system on the Balearic Islands. It is a 40 kW installation for the restuartant/event complex Es Jardins de Fruitera in Santa Gertrudis, Ibiza. The wager was ambitious; the project promoter decided to generate, accumulate and use his own energy generated by a solar photovoltaic installation, opting for the use of renewable energy instead of the use of conventional energy he had been buying from the electrical utitility company. It was more feasable to suspend his electricity contract and not to carry out the extension of his electrical infrastructure that the electricity utility demanded him to carry out in order to upgrade his power than to build his own 40 kW solar installation.
His bet on going for the renewable energy solution will give him a return of investment in just 4 years, from then on his electricity will be totally free. The key, is that the solar generator has no moving parts and the maintenance costs are practically cero, not to mention the abundante days of sunlight Ibiza and Formentera have (over 1500 kWh a year per installed kW). The 40 kW produced by the solar generator is managed by a flexible system manager which ensures an uninterrupted power supply, organizing the different energies at its disposal and sending the energy directly to the restaurant without having to pass through the batteries.
This way, the renewable energy production is used up directly and only if there is excess production the batteries are charged, thus prolonging their life by reducing the amount of charge and discharge cycles. This type of stand alone power system leaves the generator in second place becoming more of a backup, or power reserve, only jumping into action when there are peak energy demands or on days where the solar radiation in not enough and the batteries are low. This, in effect means, more in saving, as not only are the prices rising on our electricity bills but also on fossil fuels which apart from the price increase contaminate our islands.