13. June 2024.

The 3rd round table was held

On June 7, 2024, the 3rd round table in a row was held in the organization of XEnergy – Network for the promotion of women in the energy transition, and this topic was extremely present-day : “Energy storage as a function of the flexibility of the power system and the integration of RES”.

An extremely interesting introductory presentation was given by Lahorko Wagmann, HERA, member of the XEnergy Advisory Board, and you can download his presentation here:

W_XEnergy-okrugli-stol – Download

Two panel discussions were held under the moderator baton of the great Marko Biočina. The first one, entitled Innovative energy storage technologies: a view through the perspective of smart networks, gave us an insight into energy storage methods and realizable possibilities. Minea Skok, EIHP and president of the XEnergy Advisory Board, Karla Janeš Mesarić, Rimac Energy, Ivan Trojok, NGEN and Nikica Mikulandra, KONČAR Group, participated.
On the second panel, Marko hosted Tina Jakaša, Petrol Group and member of the XEnergy Advisory Board, Martina Biondić, HEP-ODS and co-founder and secretary of XEnergy, Antun Andrić, HOPS and member of the XEnergy Advisory Board, and Marina Cerjana, Amarna, member of XEnergy. Under the title Battery systems as catalysts for the flexibility of the power system, we learned how to approach e-mobility and the difficulties in setting up charging infrastructure. Some of these challenges are connection power and grid utilization and how battery systems can help.

The key legislative areas that need to be improved in order to remove barriers to the installation of energy storage are identified, the issues of enabling the participation of energy storage facilities in providing auxiliary services to the System Operator and arbitration are opened, and good practices in the use of battery systems are presented.

The need for the flexibility of the Croatian electric power system (EES) is increasing due to the ambitious goals of the integration of renewable sources (OiE). Energy storage facilities can ensure the flexibility of EES and support their integration. Although there are different energy storage technologies, the focus of this round table was on battery systems. Battery systems can be installed in a relatively short period of time compared to the timelines for the construction of transmission lines. The technology provides short-term storage, up to a few days, while pumped hydroelectric power plants are used for long-term energy storage.

As a result of the integration of an increasing number of renewable energy sources, especially solar power plants, and the lack of flexibility, hours with negative electricity prices on the day-ahead and intra-day markets are increasingly common in EU member states. Since the Croatian trading zone also participates in day-ahead and intraday market linking, these negative prices are also reflected in CROPEX. Already in the first four months of 2024, 58 negative hours were recorded at CROPEX, which is a significant increase compared to previous years. On International Labor Day, a negative price of 100 EUR/MWh was recorded. In addition, due to the management of congestion in the power system, 1.19% of the production from OiE was redispatched downwards in Croatia in 2023, while in Germany this percentage was significantly higher and amounted to 4.01%.

In Croatia, there is also an accelerated trend of increasing the integration of RES. In 2023, 8,700 new distributed sources, with a power of 244 MW, will appear on the distribution network. Judging by the great interest in connection to the transmission network, as well as the higher connection power of individual projects, it is soon possible to expect scenarios that currently occur almost every weekend in the EU. That is why flexibility should be urgently planned as one of the solutions for enabling such an ambitious energy transition.

On behalf of the gold sponsor Professio Energia d.d., Mario Klarić gave a very interesting presentation on the investor’s view of battery systems.Investing in battery storage systems presents several challenges from the investor’s point of view, which can affect the profitability and feasibility of projects. “The biggest challenges that investors face are certainly high capital investments, technological uncertainty, performance and degradation, regulatory and market risks, and network compatibility,” said Mario Klarić, President of the Management Board of Professio Energia. and you can download the presentation here:

Xenergy-klaric-BESS – Download

Another gold sponsor, Green Power Energy Solutions, presented its technological solutions, which you can see here:

GP-ES-Presentation – Download

Minea Skok from the Hrvoje Požar Institute emphasized the importance of a strategic approach to identifying the share of individual solutions for EES flexibility (battery systems, RHE, interconnection lines, consumption management, intersectoral coupling (hydrogen), etc.), the need for a certain power/capacity of energy storage from centralized energy storages, distributed local storages or micro energy storages for end customers, most often connected “behind the meter” of network users, as well as places in the network where congestion occurs or significant investments are needed to strengthen the network to receive OiE. In this sense, it is necessary to use the available EU funds, and according to the announcements of the Ministry of Economy, they will amount to 80 million euros and direct them to achieve the greatest positive effect for the system and network users.

In the working version of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan for the Republic of Croatia for the period from 2021 to 2030, the final version of which should be submitted in June, there is financial measure ES-1 – Construction and use of energy storage. The implementation of the measure is planned for the period from 2021 to 2030. EUR 26.9 million for the transmission network and EUR 26.9 million for the distribution network are planned for financing the measure. Investments will be made in energy storage at the level of the transmission and distribution network, 25 MW at each level until 2030. According to announcements by the Transmission System Operator, the secondary regulation market is expected to open by the end of the year, and the primary regulation market at the beginning of next year.

The price of battery systems today ranges from 450-600 EUR/kWh for single-phase household systems (battery system, cabinet and hybrid inverter with installation) and 550-650 EUR/kWh for three-phase household systems, 550-750 EUR/kWh for medium battery systems of 200 kWh (100 kW) and 550-700 thousand EUR/MWh for large battery systems of 1 MW. In order for the investment return to be acceptable, income from the provision of auxiliary services to Network Operators and income from arbitration (charging in hours of lower prices and discharging in hours of higher prices) are necessary. For this, it is necessary for the Suppliers to provide customers with the service of supplying electricity according to dynamic prices on the spot market.

NGEN, an aggregator, presented ROI calculations based on practical examples. The first case is the installation of Tesla’s MegaPack battery behind the meter primarily for excess energy storage, peak power limiting, arbitration and virtual group optimization. By using dynamic prices, savings of 195 thousand EUR/year are achieved. Additional earnings from the aspect of optimization of the virtual group amounts to EUR 27,668. The buyer saved 83,778 EUR/year during the arbitration. Due to the reduction of peak power, a saving of EUR 72,545/year was achieved. Total annual savings amount to EUR 379,846 (excluding VAT).

Another example was presented by the Končar Group, the installation of a 1 MW / 2h battery system on the island of Vis, in addition to the existing 3.5 MW photovoltaic power plant. It is a battery storage of electricity that can be used for auxiliary services to the system, to increase flexibility, but also to power the island in the event of a power outage because it has built-in converters with so-called grid-forming functionality.Rimac Energy’s innovative new Sinestack technology, which is starting to be piloted this year, also supports the system.

The field of e-mobility in Europe has huge potential, with an expected 30 million electric vehicles by 2030, which requires ambitious targets to build the necessary charging infrastructure. Petrol, the leading e-mobility infrastructure operator in the region, currently manages more than 500 electric vehicle charging stations, 34 of which are ultra-fast with an installed power of more than 150 kW. The construction of such an infrastructure is demanding in terms of connection power and network utilization (computational power) due to the still low utilization of charging stations. By installing battery systems, investment costs in transformer stations can be reduced, electricity bills can be reduced, and additional income can be generated from the provision of auxiliary services to network operators.

Petrol already today, as part of the NEXT-E project, uses a battery system in the field of e-mobility to “level” the load diagram. At the Kozina location in Slovenia, three chargers with a total power of 430 kW and a battery with a capacity of 200 kWh were installed, with a limit on the power of download from the network to 100 kW. It is interesting to note that the investment in that battery today would be half of what it was four years ago. Currently, a total of eight chargers with a total power of 850 kW have been installed at the location.

In addition to extremely professional, competent and constructive discussions, we also had the opportunity to enjoy the informal atmosphere during breaks and lunch. Check out how it went below.