Italy switches on 2MW energy storage

Transmission system operator (TSO) Enel Distribuzione has switched on the largest battery-based storage base in Italy.

The 2MW lithium-ion storage system,delivered and hooked up by Japan’s NEC, will be linked to the Chiaravalle substation in Calabria, a southern region that has seen a rapid build-out of PV arrays and wind farms.

“Energy storage and distributed energy management systems are crucial technologies to develop an efficient and cost-effective energy market in Europe, because they enable 100% of the power generated by renewable-energy sources to be used,” says NEC Europe's vice-president of smart grid solutions, Ugo Govigli.

A series of peak shaving, power balancing, power quality, voltage regulation and frequency regulation tests have begun on the storage system, which will be used to control the energy flow between Enel’s network and the Italian grid. The distributor will manage the gap between forecasts and actual energy flow by charging or discharging the batteries.

“Supply and demand have to be balanced at all times. If they are not, voltage and frequency fluctuations could disrupt or even destroy electronic equipment,” says Govigli.

Paola Petroni, head of network technologies at Enel Distribuzione, adds: “During the testing phase, the high performance and quality of the [system] have entirely met our strict requirements both in terms of technology and support.”

NEC’s storage system is to eventually be integrated with Enel’s smart-grid infrastructure.