Storage solutions promise to be a true revolution in the renewable energy sector, which sees Enel Green Power (EGP) as one of its global leaders.
In some of the thirty countries where it works, the Group has already successfully installed various systems able to store energy and make it available when there is greater need, in order to balance demand and supply on electrical grids. In Italy, the first EGP-brand storage system came about in 2015, in Potenza Pietragalla, Basilicata. Integrated with the wind farm of the same name, it’s able to store 2MWh of energy and helps guarantee the stability of the electrical grid. Also in 2015, the first storage system (1 MW / 2 MWh) in a photovoltaic plant was built in Sicily, at the Catania 1 solar park, with an installed capacity of 8 MW. These two examples represent milestones for EGP in the field of storage solutions and a key step forward for the entire technological supply chain related to renewables.
The experience and know-how EGP has gained over the years has allowed them to create an innovative micro-grid with very high technological content at Cerro Pabellón, in the Chilean part of the Atacama Desert. The developed system integrates a 125-kWp photovoltaic plant with a Hybrid Energy Storage System (HyESS), based on lithium ion batteries (132 kWh) and hydrogen storage (1 MWh). In Germany, the first 2-MW/2-MWh section of the Cremzow plant, in the state of Brandenburg, is already in operation. The lithium ion battery-based plant, which will reach its full size of 22 MW / 34 MWh by the end of 2018, will store the energy produced by the nearby wind fields and provide regulation services for the German grid.
However, the history of storage is still to be written. In the future, it is expected that a decrease in battery costs and the arrival of new technologies on the market can increase the speed of their deployment and integration with renewable sources to guarantee greater flexibility, and a production profile focused on the specific needs of customers and the grid. The presence of storage systems, in fact, increases the value of a renewable plant, since it allows for a wide range of ancillary services, such as frequency and voltage adjustment and grid rebooting, which are necessary to guarantee the security of an electrical system.