Enel inaugurates flexibility testing labs

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Enel has inaugurated a network of labs in Italy and Spain for the testing of flexibility solutions in a real-world environment.

The four decentralised test centres located in Milan and Bari in Italy and Malaga and Barcelona in Spain feature qualified personnel, advanced systems and state-of-the-art instrumentation that can replicate the real, complex operating conditions of electrical networks in order to experiment with innovative flexibility solutions.

The Flexibility Lab programme was initiated following the call in the European Clean Energy Package legislation for distribution system operators (DSOs) to foster flexibility services in a transparent and fair market structure, in order to increase the efficiency of the electricity system’s management.

“Through its Flexibility Lab, Enel will allow, in the future, all the stakeholders of the emerging flexibility market to collaborate, test and verify their solutions within a real Distribution Network Operation framework ensuring technological neutrality,” says Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel’s Global Infrastructure and Networks.

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“By fostering multi-stakeholder collaboration, the Flexibility Lab aims at enhancing the contribution and diffusion of grid connected distributed energy resources, thus supporting the ambitious decarbonisation targets on the roadmap to a net-zero future.”

The four lab locations will focus on different grid flexibility needs.

The Italian sites in Milan and Bari will specialise respectively on medium and low voltage energy grid solutions, offering real time digital simulation and emulation possibilities, stress testing and system integration of the various flexibility resources, network observability and regulation systems.

The Spanish sites in Barcelona and Malaga have the necessary infrastructure to develop pilot projects related to flexibility within a simulated, emulated or real interconnected power grid.

The Barcelona site will act as a laboratory as well as host the Flexibility Control Centre, which will supervise the different flexibility pilot projects that will be implemented. This site will also have a fully equipped facility to carry out technological tests related to electric mobility and vehicle-grid integration, as well as demand and generation emulators and storage devices for different technologies.

The Malaga site, which is a member of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), offers an intelligent network infrastructure suitable for carrying out tests under different scenarios in conditions that are as close as possible to reality. The Malaga living lab is currently hosting the development of the European COORDINET project on flexible grid operation, with the main focus on technical tests on medium and low voltage congestion management with demand side participation.