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The Azores installs battery-based energy storage system

Located on Terceira, the second biggest island in terms of electrical consumption of the Azores archipelago, the system will enable an increased share of renewable energy usage.

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The Azores has significant potential for a mix of renewable energy
The Azores has significant potential for a mix of renewable energy

Portuguese energy provider Electricidade dos Açores (EDA) has awarded a contract to build a battery-based energy storage system on Terceira to Siemens Smart Infrastructure, in partnership with Fluence.

 

Terceira is the second biggest island in terms of electrical consumption of the Azores archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean and the energy transition project aims to make the island more sustainable.

 

Autonomous energy systems

 

The Azores have nine isolated autonomous energy systems with significant potential for renewable energy, mainly from wind, hydro and geothermal sources, according to Siemens.

 

“The energy storage system we’re implementing will help Terceira Island transition to a new energy mix. The technology will enable an increased share of renewable energy, limiting the consumption of fossil fuels and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Fernando Silva, director of smart infrastructure at Siemens Portugal.

 

“It will also strengthen the island’s energy independence by providing more flexibility, capacity, resilience and autonomy to its power grid.”

 

The system uses Fluence’s latest generation technology, which combines factory-built hardware, advanced software and data-driven intelligence. With a power capacity of 15 megawatts (MW), the Gridstack system will, reportedly, be one of the largest stand-alone (island) battery-based energy storage systems in Europe.

 

Pre-configured to handle the most demanding grid applications, it will mainly regulate frequency and voltage of the electrical grid, increase the security of supply providing spinning reserve, and absorb and store excess energy produced by renewable sources and feed it back into the grid during times of peak consumption or low production.

“It will also strengthen the island’s energy independence by providing more flexibility, capacity, resilience and autonomy to its power grid”

Implementing this system, associated with a further expansion up to 6MW of renewables or endogenous resources, such as geothermal, will enable the island to double its share of renewables in the medium-term, from 20-30 per cent to more than 60 per cent.

 

Replacing a part of the diesel-based power supply with renewables will result in a reduction of 1,150 tons in annual diesel consumption, and a decrease of CO2 emissions by more than 3,500 tons per year, claims Siemens. This roughly corresponds to the CO2 emissions of about 1,500 cars driving approximately 20,000 km per year.

 

Microgrid management system

 

To help increase the system’s efficiency, a microgrid management system will be used. It affords real-time monitoring and control of the entire infrastructure as well as prediction of energy consumption, production, and usage of storage for several hours or even days based on weather forecasts.

 

“With the storage technology in combination with the microgrid application, we aim to maximise the integration of renewable energy sources on Terceira,” added Duarte José Botelho da Ponte, chairman of the board of directors, EDA. “At the same time, we would like to ensure a power supply at the highest standards of quality and reliability.”

 

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