The micro-grid is powered by a solar photovoltaic (PV) array and features both hydrogen-based and lithium-based storage.

The hybrid facility is being claimed as the first 100% emission-free “plug-and-play” commercial-sized micro-grid in the world.

It depends on a hybrid energy storage system (HyESS) which features a 125 kWp solar PV installation supported by a 450kWh hydrogen storage system and a 132kWh lithium storage system. 

Through its subsidiary, Enel Green Power Chile had developed the hybrid facility along with the technological support of EPS (Electro Power Systems), a manufacturer of energy storage systems and micro-grids.

Currently, the hybrid power facility is meeting part of the energy requirements of a camp of more than 600 technicians working at Enel’s Cerro Pabellón geothermal plant in the Antofagasta region at Ollagüe.

Enel’s Global Renewable Energies Division Enel Green Power head Antonio Cammisecra said: "This groundbreaking project shows that it is possible to build fully renewables-powered micro-grids capable of delivering efficient, zero-emission energy without interruptions.

“With this project, we have achieved a new milestone in our R&D work with the aim of creating systems that facilitate energy access to isolated areas, in line with our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 7, ensuring universal access to affordable and clean energy."

The hybrid micro-grid also features a novel micro-grid controller that manages the flow of electricity generated by the PV modules. Through this, the controller ensures that such flows are optimally shared between the hydrogen and lithium storage systems which in turn guarantee uninterrupted power supply.