Madeira island will reach 50% renewable energy with new battery storage system

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Rendering of the project, including Fluence’s GridStack storage equipment and transformers. Image: Siemens.

The Portuguese island of Madeira will be able to radically reduce its fossil fuel consumption while keeping electricity supply stable and reliable, thanks to battery energy storage system (BESS) technology. 

The island’s utility company Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira (EEM) has awarded a contract to consortium partners Siemens Smart Infrastructure and Fluence to install a 22.5MVA / 15.6MWh BESS.

It will be built next to an existing thermal power plant and integrated onto Madeira’s islanded microgrid, enabling the territory to increase its share of renewable energy in its energy mix to about 50%. The BESS will also enable EEM to black start parts of the 60kV network and restore grid operation in the event of outages.

Project infographic. Image: Siemens.

The project is scheduled to be up and running in Q2 2022. 

“By implementing this battery storage plant on the island, we intend to reduce the number of thermal generators that rely on fossil fuels and increase the penetration of renewable power sources without facing the risk of blackouts, ensuring optimal frequency regulation of Madeira’s electrical system,” EEM chairman of the board of directors Francisco Taboada said.

“As soon as it goes into service, this power plant will play an extremely important role as a fast reserve supply to cope with sudden variations in production and load.”

The BESS will be installed by the project partners on a turnkey basis, and will be based on Fluence’s newest, sixth generation GridStack battery storage product. The consortium will also build transformers, with Siemens responsible for complete integration of the storage system onto Madeira’s grid. 

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