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Challenge / Goal

The Iberian market has an insufficient interconnection capacity with the rest of Europe under all network development scenarios, thus limiting access to balanced service providers. In addition the share of high variable renewable energy sources (RES) in Spain is relatively high.

As an example of the high variability of RES in Spain, wind power was producing roughly 2 GW at 14:40 (contributing to 6.7 % of demand) on 26/01/2019 and less than 12 hours later, at 02:10 on 27/01/2019, wind power produced almost 11 GW (43.5 % of demand).

More flexible demand is needed in the near future. This pilot explores the possibility that radio base stations of mobile phone networks can contribute in providing ancillary services, through their installed local storage units, allowing networks to stay alive in case of electric distribution blackouts. 


Base stations are equipped with back-up batteries. These ensure the continuity of communication services in the (rare) event of a blackout in the distribution grid. By using the back-up batteries, radio base stations can be disconnected from the grid on purpose when requested, allowing the flexibility required to decrease congestion and provide stability. The pilot involved a TSO-DSO control mechanism in which the DSO (Endesa) was responsible for a local congestion management in the distribution grid, as well as helping balance the system by enforcing an agreed exchange of power with the TSO (REE, which unfortunately was not part of the experiment as it's not a member of the Consortium). The  resources cleared in the local services market are not only the VODAFONE radio base station participating in the pilot, but also other resources (e.g. PV and electrical vehicles). However, these other resources are only simulated. 


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Time period

Planning time: 2 to 5 years


Vodafone, ONE, Endesa

    Main benefits

  • Enhances grid stability

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