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EPS Commissions 100% Emission-Free Microgrid Powered by Solar PV and Hydrogen-Based Storage in Chile

June 1, 2017
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Electro Power Systems S.A. (EPS) recently announced the commissioning of a new energy storage system microgrid in Chile. EPS realized for Enel Green Power the world's first commercial-scale microgrid that is 100% emission-free, 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 125 kWp solar installation, backed by a 450kWh hydrogen and a 132kWh lithium storage technologies. EPS notes that the system integrates hydrogen and lithium, which enables it to cope with the seasonality and intermittency of the power supply.

The combination of different technologies into a hybrid microgrid, whose capacity exceeds 580 kWh, turns intermittent solar power into a stable power source, boosting the microgrid's flexibility and stability. The system is enabled by Hybrid Energy Storage System (HyESS), EPS' technology platform integrated with a unique software for intelligent energy management structured with specific POOL algorithms. HyESS is then vertically integrated with the innovative Energy Management System (EMS), which optimizes the electricity flows produced by the solar energy, ensuring the efficient sharing of such flows among the two storage technologies, in order to guarantee continuous availability of the power supply.

As a result, EPS notes that the microgrid is capable of supplying clean energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no need for diesel generator support (unlike most plants of this type). The system is designed to provide stable power on demand with the same reliability level of the national electrical grid. Adding the HyESS stabilizes the microgrid and prevents 36 tons of CO2 emissions per year on a total energy consumption of 132 MWh per year.

EPS reports that the system is able to switch from on-grid to off-grid seamlessly, depending on operating conditions: it can be connected to a grid, as it is now, supporting the network and delivering electricity to the Cerro Pabellón camp, or alternatively, operate in islanded mode. In addition, EPS offers a "plug-and-play" solution, as its components are designed to be easily removed, re-assembled and installed into a new location, which is particularly helpful in remote, poorly electrified areas.

"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".


Source: Electro Power Systems S.A.


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