The commissioning of an Energy Storage System (ESS) for Enel Group subsidiary Enel Distribuzione, Italys largest distribution system operator, was announced by NEC Corporation recently.
The ESS can store two megawatt hours (2MWh) of renewable power for release into the grid as required, making it the largest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. The ESS has been connected to the Chiaravalle primary substation in the region of Calabria, where renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic and wind generation plants, have been widely implemented.
The high level of inherently variable and intermittent renewable energy resources could potentially cause grid reliability issues related to reverse power flows from the medium voltage (MV) to the high voltage (HV) grid which happens when the amount of renewable power generated exceeds current consumption levels. It presents new challenges in terms of system stability, voltage quality and peak load management. 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.
With NECs ESS, Enel Distribuzione is conducting a series of trials of a range of peak shaving, power balancing, power quality, voltage regulation and frequency regulation capabilities to overcome these issues.
With NECs storage solution, Enel Distribuzione is also testing innovative distribution and ancillary services. In particular, the ESS will be used to control the energy flow between their network and the national Grid. Enel Distribuzione forecasts the amount of energy flow from their primary substations to the national grid and submits the Energy Exchange Profile data to the Transmission System Operator (TSO). When the gap between the Energy Exchange Profile and actual energy flow excesses the threshold due to fluctuations in renewable energy generation, NECs ESS works to minimize the gap by flexibly charging or discharging the batteries.
Ugo Govigli, Vice-President of Smart Grid Solutions at NEC Europe, said. 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 per cent of the power generated by renewable energy sources to be used.
NECs ESS will eventually be integrated with Enels smart grid infrastructure which is based on an automated meter management system with smart meters installed at homes, offices and factories, in addition to new innovative big data analytics and IT systems to provide a two-way, real-time information exchange of electricity demand.
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