Red Eléctrica de España will install a flywheel on the island of Lanzarote to store energy, which will act as a stabiliser for both the frequency and voltage of the Lanzarote-Fuerteventura electricity system. This pioneering R&D+i project in Spain is designed to test whether these facilities are an efficient alternative for improving the security and stability of the grid in isolated and weak electricity systems, whilst promoting the integration of renewable energies.
Flywheels are rotating mechanical devices that convert electrical energy into kinetic energy, storing it and then when the system requires it, it is returned to the grid as electricity.
This facility, which has a budget of 1.2 million euros, will be located next to the 66 kilovolt (kV) Mácher substation, in the municipality of Tías in Lanzarote.
The flywheel can inject into or absorb from the grid a maximum power of 1.65 MW for about 12 seconds, providing a total of about 18 megawatts per second (MWs) of energy, depending on the programming of the equipment. This will also help mitigate the effects of sudden changes in system frequency within pre-established parameters, giving it stability, something that is very important in isolated systems.
Currently, neither the Canary Islands’ transmission grid nor the peninsular have a facility to stabilise frequency and voltage using flywheel technology.
The Government of the Canary Islands has approved the declaration of general interest for this R&D+i project, whose coming into service is scheduled for the first quarter of 2014.