“In order to manage an electricity system that is 100% renewable, we will need solutions to regulate the input of energy onto the grid in a way that is extremely rapid and precise, based on the gird’s requirements. At Potenza Pietragalla we will be trialling the capabilities of our renewable plants, integrated with storage systems in order to simulate the inertia of the large rotating masses used in conventional plants. A further step towards independence from fossil fuels”
Increasingly integrated energy
The trials scheduled at the Potenza Pietragalla wind farm, the first in Italy to use an integrated storage system with lithium ion batteries, concerns also the part of the transmission network to which the plant is connected. In fact, an aggregation platform will be created that will manage the balancing capacities of the renewable plants in synergy with the flexibility of some large industrial energy consumers present in the area. The setup will be handled by Terna, Italy’s transmission network manager, which is taking part in Osmose and coordinating these trials. The challenge is to pinpoint the most cost-effective and efficient technical and market mechanisms to take full advantage of the flexibility of generation plants and load management; the portion of the grid selected for the tests is significant as it is vulnerable to problems concerning the management of power flows at times of high wind, during which the wind energy must arrive from the plants in Southern Italy to consumers in the centre and North.
Silvia Olivotto, Project Manager Energy Store Innovation for Enel Green Power has outlined how the Osmose project includes tests by other partners in France and the Canary Islands, with the aim of obtaining valid results by 2021. The general coordinator is RTE, one of the six European TSOs (Transmission System Operators) involved.
“The European Union promotes and finances projects with players from diverse countries in order to develop products and create a network that encourages European competitiveness on global markets. Thanks to the Osmose project, Enel Green Power and Enel Produzione will have the possibility to field test the services with which to best capitalise on company assets in the near future, in Italy and around the world”
System adjustment without frontiers
The European electricity system, though interconnected from a physical point of view, is still managed in a way that is not fully integrated between the different countries. The journey towards integration is already under way concerning what is known as the “day-ahead market”, in which the contributions from each generation plant to the following day’s energy needs are established in advance. Consumption and the effective availability of renewables, in addition to problems concerning the grid or the generation plants, make it necessary to manage this balance of the network in real time through the market for system adjustment services, which are still varied and independent, apart from some exceptions, between countries of the European Union.
The San Fiorano hydroelectric pumped storage plant in the province of Brescia will participate in the trials to verify how to use the pumped storage plant to offer “cross-border” services in what is set to become a single European market for system adjustment services. The plant in San Fiorano will be involved in a virtual dialogue with its counterpart in Slovenia, in such a way as to enable the transfer of storage capacity from one plant to another and, through market mechanisms to be defined during the Osmose project, supply the grid adjustment capacity to where it is most needed.
With Enel, renewable energy knows no frontiers.