In an energy scenario where flexibility and diversification have become buzzwords, energy storage systems are a great opportunity to ensure the stability and security of electrical systems, supporting the renewable energy development and production.
ANIE Energy has drawn up with RSE, Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico, a White Paper on “Prospects of electrochemical storage systems in the electricity industry”, which follows the first 2015 edition “Storage systems in the electricity industry” and identifies advantages and issues of these systems.
A particularly successful case, among the most important applications presented in the paper, regards the use of energy storage integrated into renewable plants on off-the-grid small islands.
For an electric system operating on a small island, the application of a storage system is intuitively appealing, especially when there is abundance of non-programmable renewable energy sources. In fact, in such a scenario, the lack of a national network that can compensate for the load-generation imbalances makes it necessary to resort to alternative systems.
In this context, Enel’s experience on the Ventotene Island was highlighted.
The island in the Lazio region, characterised by a strong daily and seasonal electrical load variability, is equipped with a 300 kW/600 kWh lithium battery, embedded in the island’s generation plant.
The energy storage system developed by Enel began operations in May 2016 with the aim of reducing fuel consumption, improving generation efficiency and increasing the non-programmable renewable generation share, meeting the needs of the island while reducing CO2 emissions.
In the first few months of operation, the system’s performance was excellent, with high availability and high quality of the electrical service, and a 15% fuel consumption reduction.
The document also described the Enel Green Power’s experiences related to the Catania1 project (10 MWp photovoltaic plant, 1 MW/2 MWh storage system) and the Potenza Pietragalla project (18 MW wind power plant, 2 MW/2 MWh storage system).
Both projects aimed to demonstrate the advantages of integrating generation plants using renewable energy sources and storage systems.
The experience was extremely positive since it reduced considerably imbalances associated with prediction errors of operating plants, reduced the injected power peaks thus mitigating the characteristic intermittency of non-programmable renewable energy sources, maximised the energy fed into the grid in the face of its limited transport capacity. In addition, the possibility of providing ancillary services to the grid was studied, mitigating renewable energy sources.
At the White Paper presentation event, the participants appeared very interested in the use of storage systems integrated into plants fueled by non-programmable renewable sources, with the primary aim of reducing inaccuracy in energy production forecasts. At Catania1 and Pietragalla, the use of batteries much smaller than the plants improved the initial forecast by 20-30%.
These projects show that Enel is in the forefront in innovative projects, resulting once again in an example of success in power generation.
It is thanks to these accomplishments, the White Paper concludes, that the storage systems enable to harness renewable energy resources fully and are suitable for integration into traditional generation, being very promising at a time of significant transformation in the electricity industry.