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With more than 25 GW of installed capacity, wind and solar power already contribute more than 15 percent to electricity generation in Italy. In certain areas, such as the main islands of Sardinia and Sicily, wind and solar combined provide 30 percent of the total generation capacity. Because it’s a peninsula, Italy – unlike Germany – cannot rely as much on neighboring countries to balance short-term fluctuations in its grid. For that reason, Italian grid operator Terna took a pioneering role by adding storage to make the existing grid more flexible.
The high share of electricity from intermittent sources in the areas’ relatively inflexible grid makes it increasingly difficult to control frequency fluctuations, which at their worst could result in a collapse of the grid. That’s why Terna is investing in building a storage infrastructure – beginning with Sardinia and Sicily. As a first step toward implementing Ternas’ “Grid Defense Plan 2012-2015,” different technologies are evaluated in a “storage lab”.
As part of our own “storage lab” – in cooperation with cell manufacturer Samsung SDI and EPC partner Green Utility – Younicos delivered two high-power 1 MW/1MWh batteries with intelligent control software. The energy is stored in 5,120 lithium-manganese-oxide cells, combined into 20 racks. In combination with other measures, these lithium-ion batteries help stabilize the grids in Sardinia and Sicily.
Clemens Triebel, Founder of Younicos
This storage system is part of a pioneering project that holds promise for all of Europe. It essentially demonstrates the added value and commercial maturity of intelligent storage in making grids more stable through additional flexibility.
batteries with Y.Q intelligent control software by Younicos.
combined into 20 racks. These batteries help stabilize the grids in Sardinia and Sicily.
MILLISECONDS OF REACTION TIME
Y.Q software is much faster than conventional thermal units, but also have pinpoint accuracy.
Intelligent Younicos software forms the heart of the system: AC battery management (ACBM), battery power plant management (BPPM) and a SCADA-integrated energy management system. These technologies control the battery cells – both the interplay of the individual units as well as the entire array’s interaction with the grid. This software architecture ensures three crucial results: First, our software enables the battery system to automatically provide the necessary services at any time. Second, it guarantees that the batteries are always full or receptive enough to charge and discharge as required. Third, the software optimizes the lifespan of the system by keeping the lithium-ion cells in their “comfort zones” as much as possible. To do this, the software draws on the speed and precision of our battery systems. With a reaction time of mere milliseconds, they are much faster than conventional thermal units, but also have pinpoint accuracy. In addition to designing the high-power battery system and associated complex frequency regulation strategies and software, we also deployed the units together with our partners. In delivering this project on a turnkey basis to Terna, we are able to leverage our expertise in systems integration and simulations of the intelligent high-power storage conditions in our Technology Center.