Osmose: a new equilibrium for energy

Published on Tuesday, 8 May 2018

“Innovation is the key for the development of European grid, more pressed to grow in terms of efficiency and flexibility rather than in terms of MW's and new plants.”

The integration of renewable technologies, energy storage systems, digital solutions as well as smart management and distribution systems is the ultimate goal to be reached to increase the role of clean energy resources and the optimization of energy consumptions.

Innovation as a best practice

Enel Green Power takes part in Osmose by bringing its proven experience on innovative projects, and also by making available the Potenza Pietragalla wind and energy storage plant in Italy. This renewable power plant boasts a well-established track record for a seamless integration between renewable generation and storage systems. 

“Since the onset of its brief history, this EGP plant was a trailblazer, being the first renewable+storage system of its kind in Italy. Today, the Osmose projects sets the stage for a whole new series of impressive firsts.”

At the heart of Italy's southern Basilicata region, the Potenza Pietragalla wind farm represents a breakthrough for the wind industry and, in more general terms, for renewables as a whole.

The 2MW / 2MWh storage system is an integral part of the wind farm, allowing to balance out wind's inherently intermittent nature while guaranteeing grid stability. 

The innovative features of the Pietragalla plant will be enhanced, thus enabling the real-time supply of transmission grid regulation services to Italian electricity transmission system operator Terna. Furthermore, the facility will coordinate with other renewables plants and a number of industrial customers capable of demand-response services, in order to demonstrate an advanced and flexible mode of managing the transmission grid that can maximize the use of renewables while coping with the physical boundaries of the existing electricity network.

After wind and storage, hydro gets in the mix

The forward-looking logic that underlies Osmose is already echoing in its acronym and in the obvious connection to the osmotic process, taking place when two solutions of different concentrations permeate to reach an equilibrium.

“Power grid flexibility and an efficient supply and demand balance are achieved through a mix of advanced digital technological solutions, seamlessly integrated with renewables.”

All activities of the demonstration tests in which Potenza Pietragalla will be part of, aim to reach the optimal equilibrium between supply and demand. Anyway, Osmose has a wide range of other targets in its scope.

At the San Fiorano pumped-storage plant, the OSMOSE project activities will focus on testing new approaches to manage secondary power regulation between Italy and Slovenia, made possible by the involvement of Enel Group. More in detail, the San Fiorano plant will be part of the near real-time cross-border energy market assessment and testing, which has the aim to improve the balancing between Italian and Slovenian grid.

An international partnership

During the 2018-2019 timeframe, the Osmose project will be called to define and implement some additional features to the advanced control system that will ultimately lead to a full-scale testing in 2020 with an accurate breakdown of test results in 2021. 

“The consortium of Osmose project partners lines up Enel Green Power and Enel Produzione together with a wide pool of international partners: a testament to the project's European soul.”

This impressive lineup features six European power grid operators like RTE and Terna, together with multinational companies like ABB, IBM, Schneider Electric as well as 5 utilities, digital and energy service providers, storage system makers and a selection of some 11 university research centers.