The TILOS Project: Challenging the role of battery storage in a smart grid environment
TILOS demonstrates the optimal integration of local scale battery storage in a smart island microgrid and challenges the interplay between storage, DSM and interconnection. By encouraging public engagement, TILOS addresses the social aspects of community storage and seeks for the development of novel business models. TILOS aims to demonstrate the optimal integration of local scale energy storage in a fully-operated, smart island microgrid that will also communicate with a main electricity grid. The main objective of the project will be the development and operation of a prototype battery storage system, based on NaNiCl2 batteries, provided with an optimum, real-environment smart grid control system and coping with the challenge of supporting multiple tasks, ranging from microgrid energy management, maximization of RES penetration and grid stability, to export of guaranteed energy amounts and provision of ancillary services to the main grid. The battery system will support both stand-alone and grid-connected operation, while proving its interoperability with the rest of microgrid components, including demand side management (DSM) aspects and distributed, residential heat storage in the form of domestic hot water.
At the same time, TILOS project addresses the high-priority area of island regions. In doing so, apart from Tilos island, TILOS also engages the islands of Pellworm, La Graciosa and Corsica, aiming to create an island platform that will enable transfer of technological experience by making use of the smart grid system of Pellworm on the one hand, and by offering new case studies for the development of similar projects on the other. Elaboration of new case studies will be enabled by the development of an advanced microgrid simulating tool, i.e. the Extended Microgrid Simulator, offering the potential for the detailed examination of different battery technologies and microgrid configurations (stand-alone, grid connected and power market-dependent systems). Furthermore, by also addressing social issues, through public engagement, and by developing novel business models and policy instruments, TILOS puts emphasis on the market diffusion of the developed battery storage system and the integrated energy solution implemented on the island of Tilos.
Aiming to achieve market uptake of local scale innovative energy storage configurations through the development of optimum integration directions, TILOS makes use of a holistic approach that addresses all aspects of the subject investigated. To this end, TILOS is not limited to the demonstration and operation of a demo hybrid RES-battery storage power station, but extends to also take into account of additional attributes capturing business and social science disciplines. By seeking a deeper understanding of the public perception and acceptance levels through the constant monitoring and feedback-filtering of the local population of the island of Tilos, TILOS wishes to challenge increased levels of public engagement that will facilitate the implementation of the proposed energy solution.
In this regard, although the focus is placed on the local population of Tilos, geographical studies will be carried out during the project adding ethnographic research characteristics that will provide a more collective picture of how the public respond to the idea of active participation. Nevertheless, active participation and public engagement goes beyond this stage to also consider of novel business models and schemes between the private and the public sector, which can accelerate innovation in the field of energy storage and smart grids. This is actually one of the main challenges that the TILOS project aims to address, i.e. to quantify the social welfare produced by the operation of novel microgrid shemes, to seek its maximization through achieving high levels of public engagement and finally to indicate appropriate models that will allow the local population to harvest it.
This is also directly associated with the demonstration of three different system operation scenarios, with each of them implying different levels of public engagement and public benefits (as these are perceived by the local population), calling the local population to also contribute to the debate on the local optimum. The three demo-scenarios include:
Completely stand-alone island operation for part of Tilos island with the exclusive use of the developed smart microgrid. The aim of this first scenario is to demonstrate the ability of similar schemes to support energy autonomy and grid stability under grid-forming mode of operation, challenging at the same time the extent to which smart grid attributes can be applied (forecasting ability [Daniel He21] in combination with DSM potential). The specific scenario reflects to isolated island regions, investigating the option of ~100% energy autonomy on the basis of RES-based power generation. Entire island needs' satisfaction with the contribution of RES-battery storage, diesel power and interconnection. The specific scenario reflects to island regions appreciating interconnection and investigating the option of moderate/increased RES penetration complemented by the increased use of interconnections. Smart interaction between the microgrid and the host grid. The specific scenario, introducing also market operation characteristics, reflects to island regions appreciating interconnection and investigating the option of quite high RES penetration together with the exploitation of the RES energy surplus and the battery storage asset to perform energy management under the most economically effective ways.
With this in mind and considering also that battery storage is the core element of TILOS, the project main aims with regards to battery storage are synopsized in the following:
- Deliver a fully operated NaNiCl2 battery energy storage system that can efficiently support both stand-alone (grid forming) and grid-connected (grid following) operation of a microgrid system.
- Demonstrate the ability of one, single battery storage technology, to support a series of different functionalities like energy balancing, grid stability and security of supply for a microgrid, together with the delivery of guaranteed energy exports and the provision of ancillary services to a main grid communicating with the microgrid.
- Value the multiple services potentially provided by local-scale battery storage, considering also social benefits produced by the system operation as well as operation in electricity market-dependent environments (through the investigation of additional, appropriate cases studies).
- Evaluate the life-cycle socioeconomic performance of local scale battery storage under the examination of the different microgrid setups.
- Build novel business models for local scale battery storage, considering also the option of private-public partnerships and the active engagement of local people at the community level.
Greece’s first battery storage system under way in the Aegean Sea
The island of Tilos in Greece’s Aegean Sea is going to host the country’s first renewable energy plus battery storage system. pv magazine explores why this is so significant for Greece. Tilos is a Greek island located in the south-eastern Aegean Sea, with a population of about 500. The island has often generated big news, and about a decade ago its mayor carried out Greece’s first same-sex weddings between two men and two women respectively, despite Greece then not allowing same-sex partnerships.
This time, Tilos is preparing to embrace another first, although on a totally different front. The island is soon to host Greece’s first ever battery storage system and smart microgrid based on renewable energy.
Tilos’ project comprises 13 enterprises and institutes from 7 European states and its “main goal is to demonstrate the potential of local and small-scale battery storage to serve a multipurpose role within an island microgrid that also interacts with a main electricity network. Among others, the project aims to achieve large-scale renewable energy systems penetration and asset value maximization,” says the project coordinator.
The battery project in Tilos will be part of a microgrid system that also comprises wind and solar PV facilities, along with demand side management (DSM) aspects and control system hardware and software. Given Tilos’ links to the electricity grids on the neighbouring islands of Kos and Kalymnos via a submarine cable, the battery project will support both stand-alone and grid-connected operation. Overall, Tilos’ battery system will allow the maximization of renewable energy absorption (e.g. solar PV), stabilize the grid, export energy to the neighbouring islands whenever possible and even provide ancillary services to the main electricity grid of Kos.
Dr Dimitris Zafirakis, of the Piraeus University of Applied Sciences, which is the coordinator of the project, told pv magazine that Tilos’ system installation will commence in June and conclude by the end of the summer. Testing will start immediately after.
Greek energy regulator RAE has licensed the Tilos project, which will include a photovoltaic park of 160 kW capacity, a sole 800 kW wind turbine and two battery containers of 1.44 MWh/400 kW each. According to RAE’s license, Tilos’ hybrid system will guarantee a power output of 400 kW for 5 hours per day.
Greece’s Eunice Energy Group, a renewable energy developer, will provide financing for the purchase and installation of the renewable energy facilities, while the rest of the project is fully funded from the European Union.
Piraeus University of Applied Sciences provided an initial study for the project and now coordinates it, while Berlin-headquartered Younicos, a leading intelligent battery solutions provider, is responsible for the design and implementation of the system’s real-time operations management.
The project’s DSM is covered by Germany’s leading EPC and energy management company Eurosol Energy Solutions, which has developed a prototype smart meter and DSM device, already rolled out in several island households.
Italy’s FZSonick (former Fiamm) provides the batteries, which together with advanced inverters have been used to build an integrated battery storage system, fully tested at Younicos’ laboratories in Berlin. Upon completion of the project, Eunice will be responsible for its commercial operation
Nevertheless, Zafirakis told pv magazine, the Tilos project has a well-defined business model, which builds on the legal framework for hybrid systems in Greece. In fact, Zafirakis added, Greece does not have currently a policy framework for battery storage. The project in Tilos was able to go through building on the regulatory framework for hybrid systems. Based on this, there are opportunities for the development of similar projects in the country, however we hope that the Tilos project will offer us an opportunity to improve the business model further, specifically with regards to the use of the battery technology, Zafirakis concluded.
Greek islands need solar plus storage urgently
pv magazine has explored the case of Greece’s islands before. Most of the country’s isles are not interconnected to Greece’s mainland electricity grid, and rely predominantly on power produced via diesel generators. Apart from environmentally hazardous, energy generation from diesel has also an extortionate cost, on average up to three times higher than in the mainland Greece.
Islanders do not bear this extra cost exclusively, which instead is subsidised via the electricity bills of electricity consumers all over Greece. Consecutive national and local governments have done very little to alleviate the islands from the diesel power production, which does not make environmental or financial sense.
Smart Battery Enables 80 Percent Renewables on Greek Island of Tilos
Younicos Study Shows That Island Could Cut Fossil Use and Become Flagship for Clean Energy. BERLIN, GERMANY and TILOS, GREECE--(Marketwired - Oct 28, 2015) - A study by energy storage pioneer Younicos has found that the Greek island of Tilos could push the share of renewables in its energy mix beyond 80 percent by installing an intelligent battery. The island would thus dramatically reduce its costs for expensive fossil fuel-based power, which is currently transported to the island through an interconnection from the neighboring island of Kos via the island of Nisiros. The study even showed that the island could become an exporter of its excess wind and solar power. Additionally, the energy storage system will reduce load on the strained undersea cable, thus minimizing the risk of blackouts.
"Our results clearly show how an intelligent grid-forming battery system would allow the island to form a renewables-based microgrid," said Robert S. Manasse, Chief Consulting Officer of the Younicos Group. "Implementing storage with our intelligent software will enable Tilos to power itself solely from wind and solar energy, with the existing diesel plant used for back-up only. This project is also useful with respect to market development on other islands in the Mediterranean. Greece could significantly reduce its dependence on imported fossils fuels, while creating value at home by utilizing its abundant natural resources."
In conjunction with the island's 500 inhabitants, the TILOS ("Technology Innovation for the Local Scale, Optimum Integration of Battery Energy Storage") consortium aims to create the first global blueprint for smart microgrids. The goal is to facilitate increased participation of renewable energy sources by optimizing the use of energy storage and demand-side management assets. TILOS is part of the EU's "Horizon 2020" program.
As a member of the consortium, Younicos is responsible for the development of the energy management system and for evaluating the technical and commercial feasibility of the TILOS project. The company recently presented the results of a "preliminary energy simulation," together with a "base case" study of the island's power grid using the Younicos Technology Center. Based on locally gathered data and real power flows, this unique facility validates the feasibility of grids using up to 100 percent renewable energy in any region of the world.
The TILOS project is a multinational European demonstration and research project with 15 participating enterprises and institutes from seven European states within the Horizon 2020 framework program. Industrial partners include Eunice, FIAMM, SMA, and Eurosol, as well as Younicos, with the entire project coordinated by the Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus in Greece. For further information, visit www.tiloshorizon.eu.
Younicos is a global leader for intelligent energy storage and grid solutions. Our clients benefit from technical expertise, commercial know-how and in-depth experience built on nearly 100 megawatts installed in more than 20 energy storage projects worldwide. The company was founded in 2005 in Berlin, Germany, and currently employs more than 150 storage enthusiasts there and in Kyle and Austin, Texas (USA). For more information visit www.younicos.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.