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Eku Energy and Renera to develop 1GW of battery storage in Italy

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Developers Eku Energy and Renera Energy have signed an agreement to deploy 1GW of battery storage projects in Italy, the latest in a flurry of companies entering the market.

Eku Energy signed the framework agreement with Renera at the end of June, and it secured exclusivity over 1GW of battery storage projects in Italy.

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As part of the agreement, Eku is already funding projects with over 100MW of combined capacity in the South of the country, where renewable energy penetration from solar PV is high.

Sandra Grauers Nilsson, CEO of Eku Energy commented: “Italy is a key market for Eku Energy as we continue our global expansion, and we’re thrilled to have partnered with Renera Energy to help meet the country’s growing need for energy storage.”

Lars Konersmann, CEO of Renera Energy Italy commented: “Battery storage is the perfect complement for renewable energy production. Combining it with our Solar Power Plant pipeline we are moving Italy an important step ahead on the way to a completely renewable energy supply.”

Italy is forecast to be the third-largest energy storage market in Europe by 2030 by which date transmission system operator (TSO) Terna aims to have a renewable energy mix of 65%, Eku said.

Battery storage projects in the south will primarily provide load shifting of renewables while those in the north will be more focused on ancillary services to the grid.

Energy-Storage.news recently did a deep-dive on the grid-scale energy storage market in Italy for Vol.35 of PV Tech Power, Solar Media’s quarterly technical journal for the downstream solar industry.

Since then battery storage news has come thick and fast. Developer Altea Green Power announced it was selling 2GW of early-stage projects, developers Emeren and Matrix Renewables signed a 1.5GW development agreement, while UK-based Aura Power had a 200MW/800MWh project approved.

They have joined UK company Field, Innovo Group and Aquila who last year announced plans to deploy storage in Italy, each of whom we interviewed for the PV Tech Power feature.

But most importantly, Italy’s energy regulator ARERA approved new market rules which allow Terna to run large-scale auctions for battery storage, which are now being consulted on with the industry with the first auctions set for late 2023/24.

The Eku and Renera deal appears to be similar to Emeren and Matrix’s, with one party, Renera, taking charge of more of the early-stage development work before transferring the projects at a later stage to Eku, which will own and operate the projects.

Global investor Macquarie launched Eku Energy in November last year through its Green Investment Group (GIG) vehicle, but is now jointly owned with Canadian pension fund BCI. Eku Energy has a pipeline of 1.2GWh of battery storage projects “in delivery” globally.

These include a 40MW project in England and a 150MW project in Australia, both inherited from GIG.

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