Madeira Utility Contracts Battery Storage Plant to be Integrated Into Microgrid

Nov. 19, 2021
The project will enable EEM to optimize its renewable energy integration, significantly contributing to increasing the share of renewable power to around 50% in its energy mix.

Madeira’s energy provider, Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira (EEM), has awarded a Siemens and Fluence consortium a contract to install a 22.5 MVA /15.6 MVh battery storage plant, which will be integrated into an islanded microgrid concept.

The project will enable EEM to optimize its renewable energy integration, significantly contributing to increasing the share of renewable power to around 50% in its energy mix. As a result, the island  off Portugal's coast can reduce its fuel consumption over the next two to three years, while gaining greater energy independence without affecting energy quality or grid stability. 

Integrated in a microgrid concept, the battery energy storage system will also improve the island's sustainability by reducing its carbon footprint and integrating more diversified power generation sources. At the same time, it will allow EEM to maintain high standards of reliability and availability of power distribution. One of its unique features is the ability to blackstart a part of the 60 kV network and restore grid services in the event of an outage. Located next to Vitória Thermal Power Plant, the battery energy storage system is scheduled to start operations in the second quarter of 2022.

“Grid edge technologies such as energy storage play a key role in the decarbonization of islands and remote communities. They not only enable the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources, but also increase grid flexibility and resilience. The energy storage system in Madeira, in combination with our digital solutions for smart energy management, will significantly accelerate the transformation towards sustainable and reliable power supply,” said Stephan May, CEO of the Distribution Systems Business Unit at Siemens Smart Infrastructure.

“By implementing this battery storage plant on the island, we intend to reduce the number of thermal generators that rely on fossil fuels and increase the penetration of renewable power sources without facing the risk of blackouts, ensuring optimal frequency regulation of Madeira’s electrical system,” said Francisco Taboada, EEM’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. “As soon as it goes into service, this power plant will play an extremely important role as a fast reserve supply to cope with sudden variations in production and load."

The project, which will be implemented on a turnkey basis, includes the construction of a battery energy storage system with a capacity of 22,5 MVA and 15,6 MWh. The energy storage technology will be supplied by Fluence, a joint venture between Siemens and AES. The consortium will build an outdoor storage solution including an e-house, Fluence’s sixth-generation Gridstack product, and transformers.

“The successful integration into a complex island microgrid underlines Fluence's long experience in deploying advanced energy storage in European markets,” said Fluence president for EMEA Paul McCusker. “Battery-based energy storage is a critical enabler for greater renewable penetration and enhancing reliability, and we are happy to support Madeira’s grid resilience.”

In addition to the supply of low and medium voltage switchgear and protection and control systems, Siemens will ensure the complete integration of the energy storage system into the island’s energy grid. For the next 10 years, the consortium will also be responsible for the maintenance of both equipment and systems supplied. Siemens operates an international competence center for microgrids and energy storage in Portugal. 

This story originally ran in T&D World, a sister publication of EnergyTech. Both are part of Endeavor Business Media.