ABB to build a battery energy storage system in Italy

2013-05-06 - ABB's containerized battery storage solution will improve power quality, renewables integration and the smart application of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
By ABB Communications

With an average contribution of renewable electricity generation in Europe of 15.2 percent in 2005 (Source: Enerdata), targets of 21 percent by 2010 seemed fairly ambitious. Today, countries like Italy have exceeded average targets with contributions from renewables close to 30 percent (Enerdata, 2011), and have also substantially changed their renewables landscape. Starting out with hydro providing around 70 percent of its renewable generation, the mix now comprises a significant amount of wind and solar energy (Source: GSE – 2012).

With this shift from rather consistent hydro-electric sources to weather dependent supplies, storage is becoming increasingly important for balancing electricity needs and supplies. Thus far, pumped hydro storage has been the only viable solution for bulk storage, yet recent advances in battery technologies are now paving the way for battery-based storage solutions that enable the efficient integration of distributed and intermittent renewable power.

To support such efforts in southern Italy, ABB will provide Enel Distribuzione with a battery energy storage system that will enable the utility to study the benefits of using such facilities in their distribution network. The system will be installed at the Contrada Dirillo distribution substation in Ragusa province in southern Sicily. It can provide
2 megawatts (MW) of power for up 30 minutes and will be housed in three factory-tested containers – two containing lithium-ion batteries and a third accommodating the power conversion and energy management systems.

The control system enables local, and remote control and monitoring of the installation from Enel’s network control center. The power converter transforms the alternating current (AC) power used in the network to the direct current (DC) power needed by the batteries and vice versa.

The facility will help to maintain grid stability through applications such as frequency regulation. It will also enhance power quality and provide power to meet peak demand.

The containerized solution is designed to meet particular regulatory requirements on noise and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) emission limits, and to suit the ambient conditions at the Dirillo site including high temperatures and possible seismic activities. Thanks to its compactness, the solution has a small footprint and can also be relocated to another site for possible further studies.

ABB has installed similar technology around the world and has developed competence through the installation of a nickel-cadmium battery storage system it supplied to the Golden Valley Electric Association (Alaska), which can provide 27 MW of back-up power for 15 minutes or 46 MW for 5 minutes. This gives the utility ample time to bring local generation on line. Similarly, the Swiss utility EKZ, one of the largest energy companies in the country, chose ABB to supply a pioneering battery energy storage system, which is the biggest of its kind in Switzerland and was also the first in Europe.

To enable additional power to be provided to the grid on demand, ABB supplied and installed a battery energy storage solution using Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that can provide one megawatt of power for 15 minutes. The storage facility has been integrated into EKZ’s power distribution network and is being evaluated in key areas such as balancing peak loads, intermittent power supply, and the viability of the solution for grid optimization.

With more than 10 years’ experience in the deployment of battery-based storage systems and comprehensive knowhow in the substations domain, ABB can offer operators looking for energy storage solutions the competence on all aspects of grid connection and management, as well as the turnkey supply of solutions across an array of applications including peak shaving, capacity firming, uninterrupted power supply and spinning reserve.

The front page image was provided by Phantom65 under the creative commons license.

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