Taking an early lead on storage
Italy has the second-highest penetration of electricity generation using renewable sources in Europe (after Germany). Such resources are notoriously unpredictable and energy production is intermittent. The plants are also concentrated primarily in the south of Italy as well as Sicily and Sardinia and far from major areas of electricity demand. All this has had a significant impact on how electricity flows are managed and in general on the secure operation of the grid.
In order to optimise generation from renewable sources and at the same time increased security margins, Terna has identified energy storage as one of the possible solutions to the problem, planning the installation of technologies across Italy and connected to the National Electricity Transmission Grid.
Since 2012, Terna has been a global pioneer with series of pilot projects for a total of around 50 MW of capacity, testing innovative electrochemical storage technologies on a “utility scale” (that is at a larger scale compared to consumer electronics).
The technologies being used for the different projects are classified as “energy intensive” and “power intensive”.
“Energy intensive” technologies – those which a high stored-energy to installed-power ratio - aim to ensure maximum use of wind farms along the backbone of Campania to reduce grid congestion due to overproduction of wind power and the capacity of the lines to transport it.
A second, more experimental project, named “Storage Lab”, has been launched in Sicily and Sardinia focusing on installing systems using different storage technologies, primarily “power intensive” (short-term, high power output). This project aims to evaluate and validate the integration of storage systems with Terna Defence Systems, identifying performance and the potential for applications aimed at increasing the security of management systems.
Thanks to this initiative, we have findings about available technologies, how storage works in practice and which systems can be used for specific applications.
For more information about the pilot projects.