Smart Grid News and Analysis


Enel Green Power inaugurates Italy’s first Storage Facility for Renewables


Enel Green Power has today inaugurated the first power storage facility for renewable energy plants in Italy in Catania, Sicily. The 1MW/2MWh storage system has been connected to EGP’s 10 MWp Catania 1 photovoltaic plant.

The storage system, which is an integral part of Catania 1, will increase flexibility in management of the power plant and smooth electricity flows, reducing the intermittence that often affects certain renewable sources, while at the same time providing auxiliary services to the grid.

The Catania storage facility uses the Durathon “sodium-metal halide” technology developed by General Electric, with whom EGP has signed a technology partnership agreement that envisages experimentation in order to improve grid integration of those renewable plants whose production cannot be programmed.

“Enel Green Power has achieved another first”, said EGP CEO Francesco Venturini. “Technologically advanced storage systems like the one we are inaugurating today will reduce intermittency and enable us to manage the unpredictability of certain renewable sources, thereby helping to ensure the stability and control of the grid. The active integration of renewables with pioneering and innovative solutions such as this one is key for the ongoing development of the sector.”

The Catania storage facility, which has been undergoing testing since May 2015, enabled the first field test of the use of this battery to reduce imbalances between forecast and actual output.

In addition to the Catania storage system, the 18 MW Potenza Pietragalla wind farm, which is located in the southern Italian region of Basilicata and equipped with 2 MW/2MWh Samsung Lithium-Ion batteries, is in the advanced stage of its construction. This is the first wind farm in Italy to be combined with a storage system and connected to the high-voltage grid.

EGP’s goal is to transfer the expertise it has acquired in Italy to other plants it operates around the world, implementing it on the basis of the local context and specific business opportunities. The company is assessing the possible implementation of storage systems in Europe (Romania, Spain), Latin America (Chile, Mexico, Peru) and North America, as well as in other areas of the world in which EGP is already present or is involved in business development (South Africa, Kenya).

Enel Green Power is already present in Catania with 3SUN, Italy’s largest manufacturer of photovoltaic modules and a research centre involved in testing advanced solar solutions.