Canary Islands to host hybrid storage project for synchronous grid-forming

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From pv magazine Spain

Elewit, the technology platform of Spanish grid operator REE, said it plans to build what it claims will be one of the first systems in the world to function as a virtual synchronous compensator. The company's Hesstec unit is building the facility in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands.

“This is going to be the largest system of this type, at least in Europe, and will give stability to the entire Lanzarote-Fuerteventura system,” a Hesstec spokesperson told pv magazine.

The system is part of the ViSync project, which aims to develop and validate a full-scale hybrid storage system combining lithium-ion batteries and ultracapacitors. It will use a specific control system to operate in synchronous grid-forming mode.

Synchronous grid-forming, a control type for power electronics converters, allows storage systems with power electronics to set the grid frequency reference and deliver services similar to synchronous generators. These services, which are not feasible with current generators, require high power and rapid response.

The new storage system will connect to the high-voltage transmission network in the Lanzarote-Fuerteventura electrical system – specifically, the Mácher 66 kV substation. It will serve as an integrated network asset, offering different services to ensure the safe operation of the electrical system and improve the integration of renewable energy.

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Hesstec plans to install a hybrid storage system, offering the 18.8 MVA power stage with grid-forming capacity and a hybrid solution based on ultracapacitors, with capacities of 16 MW and 80 MW.

“ViSync is a disruptive project that was born from the collaboration of Red Eléctrica with Hesstec, CEN Solutions, S2 Grupo and CERE, and opens the way to a new way of regulating and operating networks in a more dynamic way, adding stability and allowing greater penetration of renewable energies,” Hesstec said.

ViSync is also a beneficiary project of PERTE ERHA, a state strategic program focused on the recovery and economic transformation of renewable energy, renewable hydrogen, and storage.

Elewit was set up in 2019 to offer solutions to the new challenges of the electricity and telecom sectors. The company claims that “Hesstec is one of the company's main bets.”

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