Innovation in the generation and use of energy

Discover our main lines of research for clean energy projects

RENEWABLE ENERGY INNOVATION CENTRE

Through the Renewable Energy Innovation Centre ACCIONA provides innovative proposals for wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, electricity storage and network integration technologies.

The company tests, characterises and integrates the best technologies in renewable energies available on the market, and collaborates with different manufacturers on new products to streamline the cost and reliability of the clean energy generated.

In ACCIONA's Energy business, the Technological Innovation area has teams in Madrid, Sarriguren (Navarra), Chile and Mexico City. In addition, we carry out projects under development in other countries, such as Australia

We also have experimental facilities where some of the technological solutions are developed and tested, such as the Barasoain Experimental Plant (wind) and the Montes de Cierzo PV Plant (solar), both in Navarra, the recently created Solar Innovation Hub in El Romero, Chile, the first floating photovoltaic pilot plant connected to the grid in Spain at the Sierra Brava reservoir in Extremadura and the first green hydrogen plant in the country, located in Mallorca (Balearic Islands).

    Main lines of research in renewable energies

    Green hydrogen

    Complete development of the green hydrogen ecosystem as an energy vector for the decarbonisation of the industry and of society. We have developed the firstrenewable H2 ecosystem on an island in the European Union at industrial level and will enable it to be replicated at another five islands.

    Offshore wind energy

    Development of new pilot projects and prototypes for demonstrating offshore wind
    energy technology.

    Advanced photovoltaic technology

    New solar photovoltaic technology is implemented in both the construction phases and O&M (Bifacial, albedos, beyond Si, floating PV...).

    Digital innovation

    New energy models based on digital solutions that guarantee the renewable energy source, and also data traceability, governance and administration. (StoreChain@, Greenchain®, GreenH2chain®, GreenBioChain®).

    V2G

    Technological solutions for the new electromobility and energy management.

    Economía circular

    Circular economy solutions are developed in all aspects related to energy production such as recovery of biomass slag or recycling fibreglass of turbine blades for manufacturing pultruded beams for photovoltaic structures.

    Extending the useful life of assets

    Predictive technology is developed based on physical models and data models to lengthen the useful life of power generation assets.

    Maximisation of production

    Technological solutions are created for reducing the LCOE (levelised cost of energy) and
    increasing the electricity produced, without affecting the safety and useful life of the assets.

    Advanced technologies in operation and maintenance (O&M)

    Innovation to ESG: Sustainable innovation

    Solutions are designed and implemented to minimise ESG risks, and to raise the corresponding standards in those aspects for all company developments.

    Storage and hybridisation

    Innovative storage hubs

    Innovation projects in energy

    Innovation with a collaborative approach

    At ACCIONA, we develop Innovation in the Energy business taking a collaborative approach, cooperating with public and private institutions, both universities and research centres, as well as industries and companies providing public and private services. In addition, we collaborate with startup ecosystems around the world related to international knowledge centres to incorporate new solutions, develop capabilities and propose new business for the company. 

    HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2020

    BLOCKCHAIN TO ENERGY

    ACCIONA applies Blockchain technology to verify that 100 % renewable energy is loaded into the power grid from two storage facilities in Navarra (Spain).

    As part of the I'MNOVATION #Startups programme, ACCIONA has developed a pilot project for a commercial demonstrator, for the traceability of renewable sources of clean energy generated in Spain and by customers in Portugal, Mexico and Chile.

    ACCIONA, through its commercial platform Greenchain®, applies Blockchain technology to certify the origin of the energy produced in its renewable generation plants, in real time and in a transparent way for its clients. This initiative was considered by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as exemplary and disruptive, and selected in 2020 as one of the most innovative solutions of the decade in the energy sector.

    ELECTRICAL STORAGE AREA

    ACCIONA has two experimental battery-powered energy storage plants, one connected to a wind farm in Barásoain and another connected to a photovoltaic plant in Tudela, both in Spain. In both, grid integration technology has been developed with different functionalities such as: frequency regulation, voltage regulation, ramp control, arbitration and power guarantee accredited according to the GRIDSTOR procedure.

    ONSHORE WIND AREA

    ACCIONA studies solutions for maximising the power curve by adopting control strategies in several turbine models operated by the company.

    Within this scenario, we also are also working on the study, implementation and validation of noise reduction measures in wind turbines with different blade manufacturers.

    The company has developed the manufacture of spare parts using 3D printing technology, thus avoiding technological obsolescence.

     

    Turbine for Life

    ACCIONA researches solutions to increase efficiency and extend the useful life of wind turbines under optimum safety and reliability conditions.

    In this regard, the Turbine for Life programme develops a diagnosis of turbine status, provides predictive information on performance and offers recommendations regarding decisions about operation and maintenance.

    ACCIONA has developed the WINDBRAIN® tool, using Big Data technology, Machine Learning and artificial intelligence.

    This programme is also based on the application and use of physical and hybrid predictive models. Turbine for Life also helps to reduce operation and maintenance costs and extend the useful life of the wind turbines.

     

    Thor
    ACCIONA has implemented in Mexico a digital tool with artificial intelligence, THOR®, capable of predicting electrical storms, allowing decisions to be anticipated in order to make wind farms safer.

    NEW ENERGY SOLUTIONS AREA

    Power to Green Hydrogen Mallorca 

    ACCIONA is researching the most efficient way to produce green hydrogen by using renewable energy sources as a renewable raw material in the industry, as a substitute for fossil fuels in the mobility sector and as part of the energy transition by helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the supply of natural gas.

    This will make it possible to decarbonize a large number of processes currently being carried out in the island.

    HYDROELECTRIC AREA

    The company examines channels using 3D modelling technology for digitalisation and enhancements in security.

    The company has developed an autonomous device (floating robot) capable of avoiding the deposition on the bottom sludge from the loading chambers of ACCIONA's Hydraulic Power Plants to avoid sedimentation and accumulation of sludge and therefore periodic cleaning that includes stopping the turbines, managing the sludge itself and the consequent labour and production losses.

    ACCIONA has also manufactured the first active noise mitigation system prototype for hydroelectric plants, as a preliminary step to implementation at a real plant.