Alicia Medina

Energy Storage Specialist | Capital Energy

Alicia Medina is an Industrial Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Madrid with almost 10 years of experience in different areas of the energy sector. In recent years she has been dedicated to the renewable sector and, since joining Capital Energy more than 3 years ago, focused on the development of energy storage projects. At Capital Energy she is in charge of the origination and techno-economic analysis of storage projects, as well as the coordination and management of R&D projects linked to public funding calls.

LIFE ReLiGHT Work Packages

Work Package 1 of this project focuses on project management and coordination. Its main objectives include coordinating the actions of the participants and monitoring progress towards achieving the project objectives, managing all financial and administrative aspects, being a reliable interface with the European Commission (EC), and tracking the project’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Several deliverables are expected, such as the grant agreement and consortium agreement, project meeting agenda and minutes, periodic project reports (interim and final), interim project progress reports, environmental impact assessment, and updating of the LIFE KPI web-based tool.

Work Package 2 focuses on BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) definition, implementation framework, advanced design and test plan. Its objectives include the detailed definition and implementation framework of 3 business cases: Curtailed and ancillary service; balance service and capacity markets service. In addition, it develops a preliminary regulatory analysis as a starting point for future market implementations of the Storage-as-a-Service business case. It also establishes an evaluation and monitoring protocol to analyze all KPIs (technological, environmental, etc.), evaluates legal barriers, applicable standards and market requirements that condition the implementation of innovations and business models. Functional requirements are identified in detail at the module, pack and EMS (Energy Management System) levels that integrate the 11.2MWh/5.6MW BESS system. A portfolio of functional components is selected, including second life batteries and key enabling technologies (controls, power conversion and ancillaries). Operating scenarios are modeled and characterized based on a short list of operational KPIs.

Several deliverables are expected, such as the implementation framework of the 3 tested business cases, the identification of regulatory constraints hindering the implementation of the storage-as-a-service business model, the creation and approval of the evaluation and monitoring protocol to be executed in WP4, and the definition of the functional requirements and specifications of all subsystems and systems of the 11.2MWh/5.6MW BESS.

Work Package 3 focuses on the development, manufacturing and delivery of the BESS energy storage system. Its objectives include the development of State of Health (SoH) and State of Control (SoC) analysis to assess the energy status of end-of-life (EoL) batteries delivered by Envirobat, Mercedes-Benz Energy, Northvolt and Nissan. It also seeks to efficiently develop reconditioning and assembly processes for second life batteries to create 5 modular second life battery solutions. The sizing and integration of the auxiliary systems within the 6 containers, the development of the control systems for the battery containers (BMS) and for the complete BESS (EMS), and the performance of FATs tests to ensure compliance with the energy requirements of the project are carried out. Finally, the containers are prepared and shipped for delivery to the pilot site.

Several deliverables are expected, such as container-level (BMS) and BESS-level (EMS) energy management systems with advanced Decision Support System (DSS) functionalities, 3MW/6MWh second life batteries (3 modules of 2MWh each) for stationary energy storage assembled by CEN, and second life batteries of 2. 6MW/5.2MWh (2 modules of 2MWh and 1 module of 1.2MWh) for stationary energy storage assembled by BEEPLANET.

Work Package 4 focuses on the installation and operation of the 5.6MW/11.2MWh BESS energy storage system at the La Encantada renewable energy plant. Its objectives include the installation, fine tuning and operation of the BESS, the application of the evaluation and monitoring protocol defined in WP1, comprehensive environmental and economic analyses related to the 3 Business Cases tested, and the demonstration of the profitability of the 3 business models tested. It is also foreseen the dismantling of the degraded container in the third year of testing, its delivery to ENVIROBAT and its replacement by a new container with the same properties and capabilities.

Several results are expected, such as a 5.6MW/11.2MWh high-performance integrated BESS orchestrated by the smart EMS with a 10-year lifetime, demonstration of the profitability of business model 1: constraint and arbitrage service, business model 2: balancing service and business model 3: capacity markets service. It is also expected to meet regulatory requirements to pave the way for a future profitable business model 4: Storage-as-a-Service. In addition, a reduction in primary energy use by 4GWh/year is anticipated as a result of the efficient operation and management of the renewable energy generated at the 52.2MW wind farm and 76.5MW solar PV farm operated by GCE in La Encantada (Spain). It is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 600 tons CO2eq/year as a result of the efficient operation and management of the renewable energy generated at these sites. Finally, the useful life of current end-of-life (EOL) batteries used in battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hybrid electric vehicles (PEV) is expected to increase from 5-7 years to 15-17 years as a result of their reuse as BESS in stationary power markets.

Work Package 5 focuses on the enhanced recycling of second life end-of-life (EoL) batteries. Its objectives include planning adaptations and implementing changes to ENVI’s recycling process to accommodate the pretreatment and treatment processes associated with the management of EoL second life batteries. The design and chemistries of the different modules from the degraded container removed at WP4 and the collection and sorting of end-of-life components are also evaluated. A hydrometallurgical process to recover metals from the Black Mass is studied, a Critical Recycling Materials (CRM) sorting and classification plan is developed for the modules with the respective dismantling protocols, and potentially profitable recycled products are selected and associated business models are defined. In addition, recycling strategies for unusable materials and components are identified.

Several outcomes are expected, such as an improved recycling process for second life end-of-life batteries, a portfolio of profitable recycled products (e.g., plastics, electrolytes, Black Mass, magnetic and non-magnetic, mainly) and defined business models. Appropriate recycling strategies for non-usable materials and components (e.g. electronic and other minor components) are also envisaged, as well as the development of a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for the entire manufacturing sequence.

Work Package 6 focuses on sustainability, replication and scalability, and exploitation of project results. Its objectives include ensuring the sustainability of project results through an intellectual property management (IPR) strategy and standardization, certification and regulation. It also seeks to create a replication and scalability plan to maximize market penetration of the LIFE ReLiGHT solution, and to develop an exploitation strategy based on a step-by-step approach to maximize commercial development.

Several deliverables are expected, such as knowledge networking activities with key stakeholders and LIFE projects in circular economy battery fields, refined joint and individual exploitation plans, and the deployment of intellectual property (IP) mechanisms to preserve the main results of the project.

Work Package 7 focuses on Dissemination and Communication, Capacity Building and Policy Development of the project. Its objectives include supporting optimal conditions and solutions for the long-term sustainability of the project, consolidating project visibility, communicating widely about project activities and disseminating project results to target audiences to maximize impact. It also seeks to contribute to the knowledge base and application of best practices alongside other EU projects and initiatives, raise awareness of project results among citizens for widespread deployment and uptake, and catalyze large-scale deployment of project policy-related solutions to implement EU legislation on the transition to the circular economy and renewable energy by integrating related objectives into other public and private sector policies and practices, mobilizing investments and improving access to finance. This also includes networking with other EU projects and LIFE sub-programs, as well as policy formulation activities.

Several outputs are expected, such as a fully developed and implemented dissemination and communication plan, scientific publications, the involvement of 19 researchers and technicians in the project, with 14 full time employees hired during the project, project communication materials, including the development of the project website (within the beneficiaries’ websites), social awareness campaigns and recommendations addressed to policy makers.