Energy storage capacity is set to grow by six gigawatts per year by 2017 and more than 40GW by 2022, according to a recent report by research company HIS, an large increase on the 340 megawatts installed in 2012 and 2013.
In the future the energy network will have an ever increasing need forstorage systems thanks in particular to the development of renewable energy sources, and this is why the Enel Group is investing considerable resources into storage research.
In Spain Enel's subsidiary Endesa has switched on its first three energy storage facilities at its plants on the Canary Islands. The STOREproject is the islands' most important energy storage project, and its main aim is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of large-scale storage systems. It has a budget of €11million and also enables complete integration of renewable energy sources, which will become operative 24 hours a day regardless of external factors such as weather or demand.
The facility in La Aldea de San Nicolás in Gran Canaria will use electrical-chemical storage in the form of 1MW/3MWh lithium-ion batteries, while the Alajeró plant in La Gomera will use a 0.5MW/18MWs flywheel system, and 4MW/20MWs ultra-condensers will be installed in Breña Alta, La Palma.
The choice of the Canary Islands as a site for this project has been crucial as the intention is to provide an answer to the problems faced by island power systems where grid stability is strongly dependent on renewable energy sources.