Smart Grid

February 13, 2013

NEC Partners with Acea to Provide Li-ion Energy Storage for Smart Grid in Rome

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and its smart grid won’t be either—but a new deal shows progress and promise. NEC (News - Alert) Italia SpA, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Europe Ltd., and Acea SpA, the Italian multi-utility serving the Rome metropolitan area, have announced an agreement to develop innovative lithium-ion energy storage systems (ESSs) to support a smart grid in Rome. 

According to the terms of the agreement, signed in December 2012, the ESSs will be installed and operated at Acea’s primary and secondary power substations in Italy’s capital city.

In 2011, NEC initiated the first steps toward the deal when the company established an Energy Competence Center in Italy. That same year, NEC signed an agreement with the country's Economic Development Ministry to examine the possibilities of basing its production of energy storage systems in Italy and developing advanced components for intelligent energy networks. 

NEC will deliver two ESSs (180kW/100kWh and 100kW/50 kWh), which will function as key elements in Acea’s smart grid project plan to:

  • Enhance the quality of utility services
  • Reduce energy losses
  • Improve the management of distributed energy generators, such as photovoltaic systems and wind power systems.

Specifically, the ESSs will start operation in September 2013, and contribute to several applications that include peak shaving/time shifting of power consumption, power balancing, power-system stabilization and power outage backup.

The 180kW/100kWh ESS connected to Acea’s low-voltage electricity grid will serve as an emergency backup power source in the event of a utility grid outage. The 100kW/50 kWh ESS—coupled with Acea’s photovoltaic power plant and connected to its mid-voltage electricity grid—will improve service quality and continuity of distributed energy generators by compensating for power load fluctuations.

In addition, NEC will provide a real-time monitoring system for the temperature and charge-discharge status of each ESS, which assures system safety and reliability.

“NEC is proud to partner with a visionary company like Acea, [which] understands the importance of smart grids for successfully meeting the demands of utility companies, as well as reducing environmental burdens,” said Ugo Govigli, vice president, Smart Grid Solutions, NEC Europe.

"This is an exciting step forward for Smart Grid design, especially in consideration of the complex energy distribution network of the Rome metropolitan area,” said Marco Staderini, CEO at Acea SpA. “Our company is fully committed to maintaining and improving the superior quality of its electric power services. For this reason, we are working with highly qualified partners like NEC, [which are] able to meet our requirements for the smart grid project from both energy and ICT perspectives.”

Edited by Braden Becker