Albioma commissions world's first ethanol-fired peak-load turbine in La Réunion
France-headed independent energy provider Albioma SA has announced the industrial commissioning of the world's first peak-load combustion turbine (CT) operating primarily on bioethanol in Saint-Pierre, Réunion Island.
Representing some EUR 60 million of investment, the 41 MW peak-load combustion turbine (CT) works with two types of fuel: bioethanol (80 percent) from the distillation of sugarcane molasses, produced locally at the Rivière du Mât distillery, and diesel fuel (20 percent), which is needed to start the turbine. Providing daily peak-load demand, the CT is a flexible and highly responsive means of production.
Designed to start in less than 7 minutes, the CT keeps up with consumption peaks, especially at the end of the day, and helps secure the Réunion grid. It facilitates the integration and management by the network of other sources of renewable energy, such as solar power. Albioma currently produces nearly 45 percent of Réunion’s electricity.
In order to ensure the stability of its power grid, Albioma has been developing a unique partnership with the sugar industry for over 25 years. This has enabled it to transform bagasse into energy locally, by means of two thermal power plants located close to the sugar factories in Le Gol and Bois-Rouge. In addition, Albioma operates a large (27.8 MW) solar photovoltaic park on the island.
Over the coming year, Albioma will be commissioning several plants with storage capabilities, including a plant on the Stade de l’Est (1.25 MW), and 51 photovoltaic plants without storage capability on the roofs of the apartment buildings of SHLMR, a low-income housing rental company on Réunion Island.