The world’s largest wind and solar hybrid renewable energy project was recently put into operation in Kingston, Jamaica. The WindStream Technologies array was commissioned for the rooftop of the prominent local law firm, Myers, Fletcher, & Gordon. Expected to generate approximately 106,000kWh annually with a return on investment in less than four years, the plant should save the firm approximately $2 million in energy costs over the course of its 25-year lifetime.
Consisting of 50 SolarMills delivering 25 kW of wind power and 55kW of solar, the installation is the largest hybrid solar and wind installation in the world. Positioned less than a quarter mile from the Kingston coastline, the rooftop frequently experiences wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour (96.5 kilometers per hour). Fortunately, the grid-tied SolarMills not only safely generate energy, they also protect against surges under extreme conditions.
SolarMills are a distributed energy technology utilizing vertical axis wind turbines, solar panels and proprietary “smart” electronics. The energy generated by each SolarMill can either be used off grid with a storage system or inverted for use in grid-tied settings. Occupying a footprint roughly the size of a solar panel, each SolarMill provides the highest energy density currently available in the renewable market. The SolarMills are made in the U.S., but WindStream Technologies also has an office in Hyderabad, India, and distribution agreements in Turkey, Ghana, Liberia, New Zealand, and Tanzania.
The solar/wind hybrid installation is also part of 5.7 MW of systems that are scheduled to be deployed across the island nation over the next 18 months by local utility Jamaica Public Service (JPS). JPS aims to provide greater access to renewable energy solutions for Jamaica, where the cost of energy is over three times the U.S. average.