NEC Corporation commissioned the Energy Storage System, or ESS, for Enel Group subsidiary Enel Distribuzione, Italy's largest distribution system operator. 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.
“NEC’s Smart Energy Solutions can help nations meet globally agreed targets to decarbonise their economies by integrating renewable energy into their grids in a cost-effective way,” said Ugo Govigli, vice president of smart grid solutions at NEC Europe. “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% of the power generated by renewable energy sources to be used.”
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 to the high voltage 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. That's why it is so critical that supply and demand be balanced at all times; if they are not balanced, the voltage and frequency fluctuations could disrupt or even destroy electronic equipment.
With NEC’s 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 NEC’s 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.
“We are very pleased about the deployment of NEC’s Energy Storage System," said Paola Petroni, head of network technologies at Enel Distribuzione. "During the testing phase, the high performance and quality of the ESS have entirely met our strict requirements both in terms of technology and support."
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, NEC’s ESS works to minimise the gap by flexibly charging or discharging the batteries.
NEC’s ESS will eventually be integrated with Enel’s 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.