Energy Storing for a Fully Renewable Future

Published on Thursday, 28 May 2015

In order to achieve the objective of a fully renewable energy system, it's necessary to remedy the negative effects for the grid due to the intermittence of sources such as the wind and the sun. Up to now the lack of wind or sun has been compensated by grid-injecting the energy generated by thermoelectric plants and by those that use programmable renewable sources, like hydro or geothermal. Now it's finally possible to move a final step forward, with the development of batteries that can store energy at generation peak times (when it's windy or very sunny) and feed it back into the grid when it's most suitable.

In this scenario the partnership between Enel Green Power and Tesla Motors - the US manufacturer of premium electric vehicles - was established, to test the integration of Tesla energy storage systems into EGP's wind and solar PV plants. The aim is to increase plant generation and develop advanced services, in order to improve renewable energy integration into the electricity grid. The partnership will begin by selecting a first pilot site for the installation of a Tesla storage system with a generation capacity of 1.5 MW and a storage capacity of 3 MWh.

“We have an open approach to innovation: a further reason to involve the world's best players in this field, whether they are big companies or startups. What matters is that, like Tesla, they have a strong passion, technical skills and are willing to improve the world. We must not be afraid to update our business model: it's the only way to overcome the limits of the current energy system while remaining competitive on the market”, said Enel's Head of Innovation and Sustainability Ernesto Ciorra.

The agreement is part of a wide-ranging programme carried out by Enel Green Power to test steady storage systems, with projects involving other important global players in this industry, such as Fiamm, General Electric, Samsung SDI and Toshiba, and is included in a broad Memorandum of Understanding regarding the development of electric mobility and the integration of Tesla energy systems into Enel's business.