NEC and ACEA link for Rome storage

Battery specialist NEC has signed a deal with Italian utility Acea to jointly develop an innovative lithium-ion-based energy storage system (ESS) to be bolted on to power substations serving Rome.

NEC will supply two ESSs – one a 180kW/100kWh system, the other 100kW/50kWh – as part of an Acea smart grid project. It is targeting reduced energy losses and improvement of the management of distributed energy generators, such as PV plants and wind farms, in its network.

"This is an exciting step forward for smart grid design, especially in consideration of the complex energy distribution network of the Rome metropolitan area,” states Acea chief executive Marco Staderini.

The ESS, due to start-up in September, will be used to manage peak shaving/time shifting of power consumption, power balancing, power-system stabilisation and power outage backup.

The 180kW/100kWh ESS connected to Acea’s low-voltage grid will serve as an emergency backup power source in the event of a utility grid outage.

The 100kW/50 kWh ESS, wired into one of the utility’s PV plants and connected to its mid-voltage electricity grid, is meant to improve service quality and continuity of distributed energy generators by compensating for power fluctuations.

“Acea understands the importance of smart grids for successfully meeting the demands of utility companies as well as reducing environmental burdens,” states NEC Europe’s vice president for smart grid solutions Ugo Govigli.

The cooperation agreement is the first in a partnership framework inked by NEC and Acea to advance smart grid systems in Rome.