Development is underway on the Italian island of Sardinia of a 1.2 MW hybrid microgrid that incorporates concentrating solar power (CSP), a diversion from the more common use of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in microgrids.
CSP condenses the sun’s rays into a small area, typically through use of mirrors or lenses, to produce heat and steam for electric generation. In the U.S., large CSP plants can be found in the Southwest and in Florida.
The microgrid also includes 0.6 MW of CSP, including thermal storage, along with 0.6 MW of concentrating photovoltaics.
French company Electro Power Systems (EPS) is supplying a battery-based energy storage system for the hybrid microgrid. The 0.5 MWh storage system will be used to help stabilize interimittent renewables.
The microgrid is being developed in collaboration with the University of Cagliari and Sardegna Ricerche.
EPS says that the system’s coupling of renewables and energy storage allows the microgrid to reduce emissions by more than 14 thousand tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The microgrid is expected to be completed in April. The plant will be run by ENAS, the entity managing the water supply for the region.
Carlalberto Guglielminotti, CEO of EPS, said that the hybrid microgrid “demonstrates how Italian islands can represent a real open-air laboratory for a new energy model, distributed, sustainable and competitive.” Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
The project is the second hybrid microgrid that was recently announced by EPS. The other project, a 3-MW microgrid, is also located on an island, this one in Tasmania.
EPS operates in the sustainable energy sector, specializing in hybrid-storage solutions and microgrids that enable intermittent renewable sources to be transformed into a stable power source. Based in Paris, EPS also has research, development, and manufacturing facilities in Italy.