Date: May 5
Between April and June, the works of Enel Green Power (EGP) will begin throughout Italy for the construction of new battery storage systems (BESS, Battery Energy Storage System), to contribute to the energy transition based on renewable sources and to guarantee , at the same time, the stability and security of the national electricity grid. In last year’s Capacity Market 2024 auction, the Enel subsidiary was awarded the construction of new plants with a total capacity of 1.6 GW of storage systems.
Works on dismantled thermoelectric plants
The works started are in Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany and Sardinia. Most of these are sites of dismantled or in the process of being dismantled thermoelectric plants: an example of “circular” reuse of resources and land, already used for power generation. The expected duration of the construction sites is about 12 months, and the plants will be fully operational by 2024.
A little less than half of these plants are located in Sardinia: with the withdrawal of coal, scheduled for the next few years, the island will in fact experience a strong development of renewable energies which, together with the new storage capacity, will make it possible to decarbonise the generation of electricity on the island while guaranteeing the stability and security of the network by acting in synergy with the submarine connections with the rest of the country.
The technology of the BESS systems is based on the use of electrochemical batteries, capable of storing the energy produced by renewable power plants. A kind of power bank that can restore stored energy, returning it on demand.
The most widespread technology on an industrial scale is that of lithium batteries, due to the great advantages it offers in terms of efficiency, modularity and durability: its great reliability, consolidated by its use on a large scale, makes it the current reference standard .
But other techniques are also being studied: from new electrochemical batteries (not based on lithium) to systems that use gravitational energy; from thermal storage to systems based on gas compression.
The objective is the diversification of technologies, in order to reduce environmental and geopolitical risks and impacts, for example, related to the supply of critical raw materials from the few world producers.