Saft & Acciona Energia Join Forces to Offer Stability, Power Management & Grid Connection for PV Plant in Spain

August 08, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Saft has announced a three-year deal to work with Spain’s Acciona Energia SA as part of a Eurogia+ labelled project aimed at improving the viability of photovoltaic and other renewable energy source power plants. The project will demonstrate the technical and financial benefits of using a containerized energy storage, conversion and management system to provide grid ancillary services as well as power management to help smooth the plant output.

As part of the initial project at a photovoltaic (PV) plant in Tudela, Spain, Saft will develop a modular lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system to be housed inside a six-meter container designed for industrial applications. The container includes active temperature control systems and a fire suppression system. The long-life Li-ion battery offers very high energy-efficiency, no battery maintenance and an easy way to measure the battery state of charge even while in use.

The project also seeks to integrate PV plants within the grid as conventional power plants by means of new control systems to be developed by Acciona Energia, including test of new PV technologies, with a final aim of reducing the Cost of Energy (LCOE) and providing additional services such as ancillary services, improving grid stability and back up power security.

"With the ever increasing contribution of renewables in our electricity mix, it is of crucial importance to improve the electrical behaviour of renewable power plants The decision to work with Saft on this project was a natural one", said Miguel Arraras, Solar PV Development Director Acciona Energia. "In addition to their batteries high energy-efficiency and reliability, their containerized solution is ideal when it comes to addressing environmental constraints of field deployment. Saft’s knowledge of designing, manufacturing and controlling large energy storage systems means it will be a key contributor to the partnership."

As part of the system, Saft will be able to offer the customer 1.1MW power at up to 1,000V. Each container is easily scalable and will interface with existing power conversion devices.

"We are delighted to be working with Acciona on this groundbreaking project," said Francois Bouchon, Director of the Energy Storage Business Unit, Saft. "We believe the introduction of containerized energy storage makes photovoltaic and other renewable energy source plants an increasingly attractive option for the future. The ability to address issues around reliability, stability and power management is a huge step for the power industry in its efforts to integrate ecological concerns."