Spain gets its first hybrid wind power battery storage plant

Spain’s first hybrid wind power battery storage plant will support the integration of renewables and enhance the management of power.
Published: Thu 01 Jun 2017

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Spain’s first hybrid wind power storage plant will be located next to the experimental grid-connected wind farm at Barasoain (Navarra) in northern Spain.

The plant will be applying technological storage solutions that will eventually be used for commercial wind farms. Its aim is to facilitate the integration of variable generation renewables into the grid and optimise energy management.

Hybrid wind power an optimal solution

The installation is equipped with a storage system consisting of two batteries located in separate containers: one fast-response 1MW/0.39 MWh power battery that can maintain 1 MW of power for 20 minutes, and another slower-response battery with greater autonomy of 0.7 MW/0.7 MWh that can maintain 0.7 MW for 1 hour.

The Li-ion Samsung SDI technology batteries are connected to a 3MW rated capacity AW116/3000 wind turbine of ACCIONA Windpower (Nordex Group) technology and will store wind power when required. The turbine is one of five that make up the Barasoain Experimental Wind Farm, which the company has operated since 2013.

The installation also has three other units: one for medium voltage cells and analysis, another for inverters/chargers and a transformer (installed by Ingeteam, a company participating in the project), and a third for the control and monitoring equipment.

In the plant, grid-connected storage solutions will provide advanced technology services aimed at improving the quality of the energy sent to the grid. Other applications will also be analysed, such as ancillary services to the electric power system – necessary to maintain the balance between supply and demand – or the energy supply shift to match the production to periods of higher demand, which improves the economic performance of the installation.

A key element of the plant is the simulation software developed in-house which means that storage systems can be dimensioned and optimised in synchronisation with wind farms, whether they are in the project phase or fully operational.

Bearing the Spanish acronym ‘ADOSA’ (Analysis, Dimensioning and Optimisation of Storage Systems), the software covers technical, economic and strategic aspects in an integrated way. As a result, the optimal solution will be found for each case.

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

Battery storage system - growth potential

The application of electric power storage systems using batteries connected to wind farms and solar plants is a field with great market potential. With battery technology prices coming down and their proven efficiency, the market for these solutions can only grow.

While it is still early days for this solution, it is clear that it can be used in grids that experience poor connections. Islands and weak grids would find this solution useful for instance.

It can also be used for utility-scale applications in developed countries, with a focus on increasing the penetration of variable renewables in power grids without losing quality or security, and on adapting electricity supplies at times of higher demand.

Battery storage for a cleaner tomorrow

The idea behind this solution is to improve the flexibility of electric power systems to incorporate greater renewable capacity.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, battery storage provides a faster response to electric power system regulation demands when compared with fossil fuel plants. In the past, these plants provided these ancillary services.

Over the next few decades, there will be significant growth in storage systems according to consultancy firm Navigant Research. The research company forecasts revenues in utility-scale projects of US$18bn in 2023 against US$220m in 2014, a period in which the annual storage capacity in batteries will escalate from 360 MW to 14,000 MW.