A look back at TwInSolar’s consortium meeting in La Reunion

From the 13th to the 20th of February 2023, TwInSolar partners gathered in La Reunion, for a fruitful week of consortium meetings and scientific exchanges on the challenges linked to solar energy in insular territories.

Taking advantage of this first on-site meeting in La Reunion, partners visited various solar installations and discovered innovative projects, notably: 

  • A micro-grid project in the remote location of Mafate (the ERDF funded Mafate microgrid project);
  • A project using solar panels to provide sanitary hot water in a social housing building;
  • The visit of an Agri-PV exploitation, managed by the Akuo group.

Each of these examples allowed the researchers to reflect and exchange on the potentialities and the challenges of each implementation case.

Photograph of partners visiting a social housing residence

Solar panels provide hot water to the inhabitants of this social housing residence.
The installations are monitored by the University of La Reunion. 

Photograph of Rodrigo Del Prado Santamaria, PhD student at DTU, on the roof of the University with other students participating in the workshop.

A full day of scientific workshops organized by DTU researchers gave the partners the opportunity to pursue the exchanges with the University of La Reunion’s students and energy stakeholders from La Reunion, on the detection and identification of failures in photovoltaic module and modelling challenges for PV panels.  

Other activities fostering the transfer of best practices were organized, notably a workshop aiming to enhance the participation of the University of La Reunion in Horizon Europe projects, animated by Nexa. 

Rodrigo Del Prado Santamaria, PhD student at DTU, during the workshop he facilitated on imaging characterization of PV modules.  These solar panels are part of the research facilities located on the roof of the University of La Reunion, and are used to monitor the corrosion due to the proximity with the sea. 

Another highlight of the week was the meeting of TwInSolar partners with Prof. Jean-Pierre Chabriat, Regional councilor delegated to higher education, research and energy transition, and SPL Horizon Réunion. A fruitful exchange on the project and the regional strategy of developing solar energy, to accelerate the energy transition in La Reunion.

TwInSolar partners meeting with Prof. Jean-Pierre Chabriat, Regional councilor delegated to higher education, research and energy transition, and SPL Horizon Réunion.

Being onsite also represented the opportunity to collectively reflect on the next steps of the project and on its Communication and Dissemination strategy, in view of the submission of the related deliverable. Through a collaborative workshop organized by the CPMR Islands Commission, all partners were encouraged to share their ideas and to provide their inputs on this key aspect of the project.

Partners reflecting on the Communication and Dissemination strategy.

TwInSolar partners visiting a primary forest in the South East of the island.

Finally, a day of site visits in the South-East part of the Island, known for its unique biodiversity, completed this week of exchanges. Through the visit of Mare Longue research station organized by Nexa, TwInSolar partners discovered current studies, as well as the conservation and restauration efforts, being developed by Dr Claudine Ah-Peng and her team, in this one-of-a-kind primary forest. 

Unfortunately, for meteorological safety reasons – due to the cyclone Freddy passing close to the coasts of the island on the 20th of February – , the University remained closed and the second workshop was postponed. A future date will be announced in due time to exchange with Fraunhofer researchers on solar forecasting methods and their integration in the management of energy systems. 

The TwInSolar partners thank the University of La Reunion for hosting this fruitful week of exchanges!
Next meetings and events dates will be announced soon. 

Stay in touch with the TwInSolar project through our social networks!
Twitter: @TwInSolar_HE
Linkedin: TwInSolar project 

Article originally published on the CPMR Islands Commission’s website