Acciona has connected Spain’s first renewable storage plant using recycled batteries to the grid, at the company’s experimental photovoltaic park in Tudela (Navarre). The set of four second-life batteries, with a combined capacity of 130 kWh, will store the energy obtained from the 1.2 MWp plant to later inject it into the grid and analyze its performance and behavior. The innovation project concludes with a comparative analysis to verify the equal performance of recycled batteries against first use batteries.
The plant includes 32 kW/32 kWh batteries from Nissan vehicles, which will double their useful life as part of the project. Acciona will operate the system from its Renewable Energy Control Center (CECOER) with its global energy management platform GEMS, which enables optimized management, real-time monitoring and analysis of parameters. Renewable energy will be certified throughout the process through Acciona ‘s blockchain-based Greenchain® platform.
The storage plant is part of the experimental facilities of Montes del Cierzo in Tudela and is the result of a joint project with startup BeePlanet within Acciona ‘s open innovation program, I’mnovation. BeePlanet, together with Acciona, is part of the GERA project, backed by the Government of Navarre, and specializes in energy storage systems reusing lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles.
Vehicle battery standards require battery systems to remain at over 80% of their operational capacity and only permit a maximum discharge of 5% over 24 hours to ensure maximum vehicle performance. Under these parameters, damaged modules can be detected and replaced, with recycled batteries offering similar performance to new ones for other uses at a lower cost.
The project represents an additional focus on decarbonization, due to the fact that recycling electric vehicle batteries avoids up to 70% of the CO2 emissions associated with the manufacture of new batteries. It also boosts the circular economy model and the recovery of resources, given the scarcity of many of the basic components of lithium-ion batteries, such as cobalt or lithium itself.
“Second-life batteries can be an ideal option to complement self-consumption facilities, electric vehicle charging networks and microgrids. With this, we will be able to prove to our customers our commitment to the circular economy and take a further leap towards decarbonization,” says Belén Linares, Acciona’s Director of Energy Innovation.