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Report RSE 17004171

Scenarios of RES development in the Italian small islands not connected to the national grid and case-studies analyses



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D. Airoldi (RSE SpA), E. Garofalo (RSE SpA) , F. Giudici (RSE SpA), C. Sandroni (RSE SpA) , S. Guastella (RSE SpA) , D. Bertani (RSE SpA), E. Lembo (RSE SpA)

SMART-DSYS 2016 - Development and management of distribution networks


This work is part of recent RSE research activities in the context of Italian small islands not connected to the national electricity grid. Two case studies were considered: the Ustica island and the Vulcano island. In the latter a measurement campaign has been launched in order to estimate the local solar and wind resources availability.

Concerning the Ustica island, an in-depth study was carried out with the purpose of developing a methodological approach for evaluating the potential penetration of RES generation capacity in the island energy system, acceptable by the local electric grid without compromising actual power quality levels, together with the consequent reduction of fossil fuels consumption. Moreover, the economic and environmental benefits achievable through the integration of the most energy intensive services, in particular the one connected to the water supply network, were evaluated. In this respect, the island water system was deeply examined and an overall energy analysis of the island system was carried out according to a MEFA (Material and Energy Flow Analysis) approach in which the electrical consumption of the island desalination plant was put in evidence to highlight the connection between water and energy (WEN - Water Energy Nexus).

The available RES were assessed and possible configurations of PV and small wind plants that could be integrated in the existing electric power generator park, with and without storage system, were evaluated. In addition to the electric storage system option, the hypothesis of water storage was also taken into account. The desalination plant can be used as a deferrable electric load in order to increase the overall energy system flexibility (Demand-side Management), by concentrating its use during RES maximum production hours and accumulating desalted water in order to be consumed later in the day.

Simulations have confirmed that significant RES penetration rates in the energy system of noninterconnected small islands can be achieved by defining sustainable and integrated design solutions that include the use of energy storage systems and the integration with water/desalination systems. Lastly, a simulation tool was developed to evaluate the impact on power quality and electric grid stability due to the introduction of consistent RES capacity in the islands electric system.

The results of some preliminary simulations have shown a limited impact on network characteristics that does not compromise its stability, but also a considerable potential for improvement in terms of fluctuation of network parameters.

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