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Battery storage system for world’s largest solar farm

An energy storage system has been installed at the world’s largest solar park – Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. 

According to storage system supplier Ingeteam, the installation marks the first time an energy storage system has been paired with a photovoltaic plant at a grid-scale level in the United Arab Emirates. 

The 77 km2 solar park – which was commissioned in 2013 – will eventually have a total generating capacity of 5,000 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). Development of the site is scheduled to finish in 2030. Dubai has said it wants 75% of its power output to come from clean sources by 2050. 

Anticipating the large-scale introduction of renewables in the coming years, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) installed a sodium sulphur (NaS) battery system in the park to demonstrate its effectiveness in stabilising grid fluctuations. 

The 1.2 MW/7.2 MWh storage system allows DEWA to evaluate the technical and economic capabilities of this technology, when integrated with PV arrays, in order to increase grid stability and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

The storage system will be also used for energy time shifting, frequency control and voltage control using the large capacity of the batteries. 

The Ingeteam supply comprises a 1.2 MVA power station equipped with two storage inverters and all the rest of the components for an LV-to-MV and DC-to-AC conversion (medium voltage transformer, medium voltage switchgear, etc). 

While energy storage systems are still in the early phases of commercial deployment, analysts are increasingly optimistic about the impact they could have on the global energy system. 

In a report issued in November last year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicted that the capital cost of a utility-scale lithium-ion battery storage system would fall another 52% between 2018 and 2030. This, BNEF believes, will transform the economic case for batteries in the vehicle and electricity markets. 

‘We see energy storage growing to a point where it is equivalent to 7% of the total installed power capacity globally in 2040,’ said Logan Goldie-Scot, Head of Energy Storage at BNEF. ‘The majority of storage capacity will be utility-scale until the mid-2030s, when behind-the-meter applications overtake.’ 

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