World’s First 100% Emission-free Microgrid

June 07, 2017 by Jeff Shepard

Electro Power Systems (EPS) has installed and commissioned for Enel Green Power the world's first microgrid 100% emission-free, which is powered by solar energy and coupled with hydrogen and lithium-based storage. The system is currently meeting part of the energy demand of the camp that hosts over 600 technicians working at the Enel Green Power's geothermal plant Cerro Pabellón, located in Ollagüe, in the Antofagasta region of Chile, in the heart of the Atacama Desert (4500m above sea level).

The microgrid relies on a 125kWp solar installation, backed by a 450kWh hydrogen and a 132kWh lithium-ion battery storage technologies. The system, being able to integrate hydrogen and lithium, enables to cope with, respectively, seasonality and intermittency of power supply.

As a result, the microgrid is capable of supplying clean energy 24 hours per day and 7 days a week, with no need for support of any diesel generator (unlike most plants of this type) and provides stable power on demand with the same level reliability of the national electrical grid.

The system will prevent 36 tons of CO2 emissions per year on a total energy consumption of 132MWh per year, with no need for support of any backup diesel generator. This is a disruptive and innovative project. For the first time, this Hybrid Power Plant combines renewables with the complete set of innovative technologies developed by the EPS Group.

"It's a turning point in the validation from the market of our technology and another milestone in our path to energy transition for mastering the intermittency of renewables," commented Carlalberto Guglielminotti, Chief Executive Officer of EPS. "The HyESS, vertically integrated with the EMS and the intelligent software, enables EPS to provide a full technological suite and to gradually displace diesel generation globally.

"This project confirms the universality of our technology built to manage any type of renewable energy supply and different storage solutions. EPS is proud of the commissioning of this unique and challenging microgrid in such a remote geographical area and, above all, to have partnered with ENEL, the largest European utility by number of customers."