Younicos and Leclanché partner on Graciosa Microgrid Project

April 09, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché is to play a key role in the game-changing renewable energy project currently being developed in Graciosa by Younicos, a German-American specialist in renewable energy integration. Leclanché will provide the complete Battery Energy Storage Solution (BESS), using its industry-leading lithium-ion batteries, which will be combined with Younicos Energy Management software. Additionally, an affiliate of Recharge ApS, one of Leclanché's largest shareholders, will provide €3.5M in convertible debt financing to the project's operating company Graciolica, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Younicos. Both announcements are milestones that will help accelerate implementation of the project in the coming weeks and will ensure substantial progress during the course of 2015.

The world’s first megawatt-scale renewable energy plus storage system, currently being built on the island of Graciosa in the Azores (Portugal), will set new standards for islands worldwide. Furthermore, by stabilizing the grid without the rotating mass of a conventional thermal engine, the system will enable the grid to be fully powered by wind and solar energy. The centerpiece of the system is a fully automated, intelligently managed 2.8 megawatt battery park integrated into the intelligent energy management system developed by Younicos. In addition, the system will incorporate wind (4.5 MW) and solar (1 MW) power resources, and intelligent inverters. The renewable energy-powered grid will boost the island’s annual share of renewable energies, from a previous limit of 15 percent to up to 65 percent and thus allow the island to reduce its dependence on fuel imports.

James P. McDougall, CEO of Younicos, on teaming with Leclanché: “This is an exciting partnership on many levels. We have long been intrigued by Leclanché’s BESS and are confident that – coupled with our software – it will provide an extremely stable backbone of a fundamentally new energy system. At the same time, working with an industry-leading battery manufacturer such as Leclanché, and with Recharge as financing partner, underscores the ability of Younicos to lead micro-grid projects worldwide.”

Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, commenting on the deal: “We are very excited to team up with Younicos for this truly innovative island solution. We are confident that our wide range of BESS, seamlessly integrated with Younicos’ global leading Energy Management Software, will make this project a reference in the industry. This is a strong validation of Leclanché’s growth strategy and of its position as a leader in this high potential, fast-growing competitive market. We commend Recharge for its vision to invest in this ground-breaking project and are honored to work together to successfully carry out the renewable energy transformation on Graciosa.”