Acciona opens battery storage plant at wind farm in Spain

Acciona Energia has opened a new battery storage plant alongside a wind farm in Barasoain, located in the region of Navarra, Spain. It is the first battery storage facility incorporated into a grid-connected wind farm in the country. The aim of the battery system is to increase the generation of renewable energy and optimize the management of the energy produced for the transmission grid.

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Among those in attendance at the battery storage facility’s opening ceremony were Manu Ayerdi, VP for business development of the government of Navarra, and Rafael Mateo, CEO of Acciona Energia.

“Renewables will make up the energy model of the future, and in this irreversible process storage will be a major ally in facilitating the complete – and early – disappearance of fossil fuel-based energies,” said Rafael Mateo, CEO of Acciona Energia.

Battery system
The plant in Barásoain is equipped with a storage system that consists of two batteries located in separate containers: one fast-response battery of 1 MW/0.39 MWh (capable of maintaining 1 MW of power for 20 minutes), and other slower-response battery with greater autonomy (0.7 MW/0.7 MWh, maintaining 0.7 MW for one hour).

Both batteries have Samsung SDI Li-ion technology that are connected to a 3-MW AW116/300 wind turbine of ACCIONA Windpower (Nordex Group) technology, from which they will capture the energy to be stored. The wind turbine is one of five that make up the Experimental Wind Farm at Barásoain, operated by the company since 2013.

The facility has another three units, one for medium-voltage cells and analyzers, another for inverters/chargers and a transformer (installed by Ingeteam, a company that has worked with us on the project), and a third for control and monitoring equipment.

A storage system will be applied in the plant aimed at improving the quality of the energy sent to the grid. Other functionalities will also be analyzed – such as the provision for ancillary services to the grid, which are needed to maintain a constant balance between supply and demand or the postponement of the entry of power into the grid to times when demand is higher.

ACCIONA has developed its own control software for the plant, plus a simulation program that can dimension and optimize storage systems for integration into wind farms. It was awarded the Eolo Prize for Innovation 2017 by the Spanish Wind Power Companies’ Association.

The project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which manages the Centre for Industrial Technological Development in Spain (CDTI).

Future prospects
The application of electric storage systems with batteries linked to wind farms and solar power plants is a field with enormous growth potential, thanks to the strong development of renewable energy sources worldwide, lower battery technology costs and improvements in their efficiency.

Analysis predict strong growth in storage systems over the coming decades. Just in projects at the utility level, the construction company Navigant forecasts revenues of $18 billion in 2023 against 220 million in 2014. During this period, annual storage capacity in batteries will rise from 360 MW to 14,000 MW.

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