• The guest of honour at the opening ceremony was Manu Ayerdi, Vice-president for Business Development of the Government of Navarra
  • Technical solutions will be applied in the plant for use in commercial wind farms, with the aim of increasing the contribution of renewables to the grid and optimising the management of the energy produced

Manu Ayerdi, Vice-president for Business Development of the Government of Navarra, and ACCIONA Energía CEO Rafael Mateo have opened the wind power storage plant with batteries that ACCIONA has put into service in Barásoain (Navarra). It is the first facility of its type incorporated into a grid-connected wind farm in Spain, with the idea of applying technical solutions to increase the penetration of renewable energy-based systems in the transmission system and optimise the management of the energy produced.

After visiting the plant, an institutional ceremony was held in which Rafael Mateo referred to the key role that storage will play in a low-carbon transmission system. “Renewables will make up the energy model of the future, and in this irreversible process storage will be a major ally in facilitating the complete – and early – disappearance of fossil fuel-based energies”.

Previously, Vice President Ayerdi has stressed the Government of Navarra's commitment to innovation and has valued such an innovative project that falls within the priority areas defined in the Strategy for Intelligent Specialization such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Battery system

The plant in Barásoain is equipped with a storage system that consists of two batteries located in separate containers: one fast-response battery of 1 MW/0.39 MWh (capable of maintaining 1 MW of power for 20 minutes) and other slower-response battery with greater autonomy (0.7 MW/0.7 MWh, maintaining 0.7 MW for 1 hour). Both have Samsung SDI Li-ion technology connected to a 3-MW AW116/300 wind turbine of ACCIONA Windpower (Nordex Group) technology, from which they will capture the energy to be stored. The wind turbine is one of five that make up the Experimental Wind Farm at Barásoain, operated by the company since 2013.

The facility has another three units, one for medium voltage cells and analysers, another for inverters/chargers and a transformer (installed by Ingeteam, a company that has worked with us on the project), and a third for control and monitoring equipment.

Storage solutions will be applied in the plant aimed at improving the quality of the energy sent to the grid. Other functionalities will also be analysed, such as the provision for ancillary services to the grid – needed to maintain a constant balance between supply and demand – or the postponement of the entry of power into the grid to times when demand is higher, to improve the economic performance of the installation.

ACCIONA has developed its own control software for the plant, plus a simulation program that can dimension and optimise storage systems for integration into wind farms, for which it was awarded the ‘Eolo’ Prize for Innovation 2017 by the Spanish Wind Power Companies’ Association.

The project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which manages the Centre for Industrial Technological Development in Spain (CDTI).

Future prospects

The application of electric storage systems with batteries linked to wind farms and solar power plants is a field with enormous growth potential, thanks to the strong development of renewable energy sources worldwide, lower battery technology costs and improvements in their efficiency.

Analysis predict strong growth in storage systems over the coming decades. Just in projects at the utility level, the construction company Navigant forecasts revenues of 18 billion dollars in 2023 against 220 million in 2014. During this period, annual storage capacity in batteries will rise from 360 MW to 14,000 MW.