The German-Bahamian Hybrid Centre for Demonstration, Capacity Building and Application of Technologies of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Mobility was commissioned in Nassau in December 2018.
The Society for the Promotion of Renewable Energies (FEE), a Berlin based innovation cluster, initiated this first ever Hybrid Centre of approved up-to-date technologies „Made in Germany“, experiences of best-practice in „Energiewende“ (transformation of the energy system) and dual training in cooperation with innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SME) within the energy exports initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in the framework of dena-RES-program (1). FEE as a non-profit Non-Governmental Organisation fostered the formation of the dedicated working group of SMEs, assisted them in project design, in their application for partial subsidies, in the search for foreign partners and in public relations. (2)
The project has been realized by bioltec systems GmbH, Nittenau-Brunn, Bavaria, and SUNfarming GmbH, Erkner, Brandenburg, (3) according to the needs of the Bahamas islands and local partners. These are 700 Islands Energy Ltd., a waste treatment and recycling company for used cooking oil (UCO) and fats from restaurants and canteen kitchens to fuel, as the commercial partner, and Windsor High-School, as partner for education and energy client, from Albany, Nassau,
Both German enterprises offer well-approved innovations, among others, optimized photovoltaic (PV) greenhouses for linking food production and energy generation (distinguished by Intersolar Award in 2017), solar parks (more than 500 MWp installed), facilitating native plant oil fuels, being it f.i. palm oil according to RBD-standard (4) or UCO, to diesel engines for combined heat and power (CHP) generation or driving lorries or buses (more than one thousand internationally), linked to job creation, especially for women, and dual capacity building according to needs of clients. SUNfarming contributed to this Hybrid Centre the solar greenhouse introducing the principle of „Food, Energy & Water“ with double use of the real estate - all of them short on any island - battery store, solar water pump, column to charge electricity, e-bike and e-scooter, f.i. for carrying the crop to the market. Bioltec integrated a CHP plant, using the heat for hot water production for the school kitchen, substituting diesel oil by UCO upgraded to fuel quality as locally available low-emission combustion fuel in technically and electronically retrofitted commercial engines of a stationary motor-generator and a driving engine of a waste-oil collecting tank lorry, as an example for local bus or lorry fleets and last, but not least, the local energy management of the complete system with remote control from Germany. Both companies delivered additionally the dual training program, practical capacity building and teaching materials.
This energy project is serving equally as a reference for off-grid, on-grid or autonomous self-supply of energy and, not to forget, as an example for digitalization.
It is scalable up to covering the energy consumption of islands or of on-shore clients by renewable energy and flexibly adoptable to clients‘ needs, f.i. by converting heat to cold for air-conditioning or refrigeration or using heat for producing drinking water from sea- or brackish water.
To our knowledge this project is first of its kind worldwide.
(1) The „dena-Renewable-Energy-Solutions-Programm“ is part of the „Energy Export Initiative“ of BMWi for promoting SMEs only, based on a resolution of Deutscher Bundestag (Parliament), and is managed by the federal state-owned company Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH.
(2) The project had been originally elaborated on request of a Colombian governmental body and the Colombian Embassy to FEE for the Archipelago San Andrés, La Providencia and Santa Catalina. According to the aims of the Colombian side, a demonstration and capacity building centre should be the first step to create the pre-condition for converting economically the complete energy supply of the Archipelago (biosphere reserve „Sea flower“, recognized by UNESCO) from now diesel fuel to RES. The prevailing conditions on the islands were for FEE the criteria forming the entrepreneurial task group, as there are still the scarcity of ground, drinking water, fresh fruit and vegetable on the one hand and the high consumption of electricity and cold for air-conditioning and refrigeration related to the choking amount of bio-waste, caused by mass tourism and the economical, environmental, health and image damages, caused by diesel engines. Jointly with bioltec systems GmbH, eab New Energy GmbH, GICON Großmann Ingenieur Consult GmbH, Institut für Luft- und Kältetechnik gGmbH and SUNfarming GmbH the project was designed for facilitating CHP (biogas, locally produced plant oil), double use of real estate for electricity generation and food production with low water consumption (PV-greenhouse with drop irrigation of water and liquid fertilizers), conversion of heat to cold, digital energy management and remote control for on- and off-grid power supply, including training, all warranted for five years. The project, called „Sunny Island“ was exactly tuned to the needs of this Overseas Department.
The integrated German SMEs offered further options, as wind-park, solar power plant, heat-driven seawater desalination, electric mobility and conversion of diesel vehicles to the use of plant oil as fuel as well as providing additionally to interested Colombian partners ready for cooperation licences, joint marketing and adaptive research & development.
Criterion for being integrated into the project was the condition that the company-owned technology had to be already approved by practical utilization at home or abroad .
(3) Bioltec systems GmbH is member of BRM and SUNfarming GmbH member of both, BRM and FEE.
(4) RBD means refined, bleached, deodorized.
Berlin and Erkner, 15/02/2019