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Spanish ‘experimental’ wind farm to be fitted with battery storage by Acciona

Image: Acciona.

A ‘hybrid’ plant for storing wind energy in batteries has been constructed by infrastructure and energy firm Acciona in Spain, thought to be the first such project in the country.

Acciona, which announced plans earlier this year to invest €2 billion (US$2.15 billion) in renewables by 2020 to reach 10.5GW of assets, announced the completion of the battery storage project at a grid-connected wind farm in Navarra, northern Spain a few days ago.

The project has two battery packs – one for fast-acting response, the other is slower. The former is a 1MW / 0.39MWh battery, to deliver 1MW of energy for 20 minutes, while the other is a 0.7MW / 0.7MWh device that can output 0.7MW of energy for one hour.

Both sets of batteries are from Korean manufacturer Samsung SDI, which recently also launched a new range of battery modules for the residential energy storage market, and will be connected to a 3MW wind turbine jointly produced by Acciona Windpower and Nordex Group. The wind turbine is one of five at the so-called ‘experimental’ wind park in the municipality of Barasoain. The rest of the experimental park tests other tech solutions such as inverters and chargers, medium voltage cells and analysers and control and monitoring equipment.  

While Acciona did not go heavily into technical details in announcing the project, it is thought that the energy storage will be used to improve “the quality of the energy sent to the grid” and provide “advanced technology services”. It will also assess the use of energy storage for ancillary (grid) services such as frequency control and in meeting demand for power in peak periods.

Some funding for the project has come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Spanish Centre for Industrial Development (CDTI).    

Acciona also installs software for modelling, dimensioning and optimising wind farm connected energy storage

Also developed for deployment at the Barasoain experimental wind farm, is a suite of simulation software by Acciona’s Innovation Direction team that allows for the system analysis, dimension and optimisation of energy storage specifically for pairing with wind farms. Acciona said the software covers “technical, economic and strategic aspects in an integrated way”.   

At the Intersolar Europe / ees Europe shows last week in Germany, several commentators including representatives of BYD and Sonnen asserted a belief that energy storage to mitigate for or prevent possible curtailment of renewable energy assets, particularly wind energy, will be an increasingly important aspect of decentralised energy networks of the future. Often, grid operators or utilities have little option but to stop accepting power from wind in times of oversupply, meaning that energy and money are wasted.