UK battery storage developer Field Energy has announced plans to expand into Italy, a market where the utility-scale sector is set to grow substantially from a negligible base today.
The firm has hired Emanuele Taibi as country general manager and Roberto Nardi as project development lead, who will together lead a Rome-based team. Field plans to develop and operate its own fleet of large-scale battery storage systems in Italy with its energy trading platform Gaia.
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Field is developing around 500MWh of battery storage in the UK, for which it recently raised £77 million (US$96 million) in equity and debt, covered by our sister site Solar Power Portal. The company was founded by Amit Gudka in 2021 after he left utility Bulb.
The Italian grid-scale energy storage market is expected to grow substantially from 2023 onwards from a low base. Research firm LCP Delta expect it to go from under 2% of European deployments in 2022 to over 20% in 2023, when some 800MW is expected to be deployed.
The country has hit an inflection point thanks to several factors occurring simultaneously. A growing recognition that renewables must be deployed fast has combined with changes to the country’s balancing market and permitting issues, as well as an increased investor familiarity with the sector.
Alongside Field, another firm with an existing UK development portfolio recently announced big plans in Italy, Innovo Group, while Aquila Capital invested in an early-stage pipeline in January last year.
However, unlike the UK and Germany, the next-largest grid-scale market in Europe, battery storage projects in Italy look set to move to more energy trading and capacity revenues, requiring longer discharge durations, much more quickly than those two countries did. Batteries have already won capacity market contracts in Italy.
This is partially down to a relatively small ancillary service market in which batteries can play, limited to around 230MW for which five-year contracts have already been given out, and the way the grid, operated by Terna, differs from the UK and Germany grids.
Last year, 1.1GW of battery storage won out in the forward-looking capacity market auctions too.
Italy is aiming for 72% renewable electricity production by 2030, rising to 95-100% by 2050.