Enel builds Italy's first large-scale storage facility

Italian clean energy developer Enel Green Power (EGP) has inaugurated Italy’s first large-scale solar+storage facility in Catania.

The 1 MW/2 MWh battery facility is connected to EGP’s 10 MW Catania 1 solar plant, and has been switched on this week having been tested since May. The battery, which has been developed by General Electric, is a Durathon sodium-metal halide and will increase the plant’s electricity flow and augment its flexibility.

"Technologically advanced storage systems like the one we are inaugurating today will reduce intermittency and enable us to manage the unpredictability of certain renewable sources, thereby helping to ensure the stability and control of the grid," said EGP CEO Francesco Venturini. "The active integration of renewables with pioneering and innovative solutions such as this one is key for the ongoing development of the sector."

The potential for energy storage in Italy is huge. As one of the world’s most mature markets, the country has thousands of sites that are suitable for storage, both at large-scale, such as at EGP’s Catania solar farm, and at residential scale, where there are more than 500,000 rooftops fitted with a solar array.

PV penetration in Italy is the highest in the world, and with very little left in the way of solar subsidies, many homeowners with solar installed have begun looking at affordable storage solutions.