The Control Centre of Renewable Energies (CECRE) of Red Eléctrica de España (REE), a pioneering control centre in the world that has served as an inspiration for system operators in other countries, celebrates its fifteen years ensuring the safe integration of renewable generation. During this time, this unique system operation tool has contributed, together with the generators’ control centres, to the integration of more than 1,338 TWh of green energy into the Spanish peninsular electricity system, an amount that could meet the electricity demand of the European Union for 5 months.
The commissioning of CECRE in 2006 was a giant leap towards a more sustainable future, as the increase in renewable energy generation has as a direct consequence the reduction of Spain’s energy dependence on polluting fossil fuels such as coal.
For Miguel Duvison, Red Eléctrica’s General Manager of System Operation "this tool, designed to enable the integration of wind energy from existing generation facilities (448), has today become, together with the monitoring of a total of more than 3,200 facilities, a key element in achieving the targets set by the European Union for 2030 in terms of decarbonisation of the electricity sector."
"This control centre, the first in the world dedicated exclusively to the operation of renewable energies, has contributed in 2020 to integrating almost three times the renewable production that was generated in the year prior to its commissioning (41,148 GWh in 2005), with 2020 being the year with the highest contribution of clean energies," explains Mr. Duvison.
But CECRE continues to add new milestones: so far in 2021, renewable generation has accounted for more than half (53.4%) of total electricity production on the Spanish mainland. 30 January this very year was the day with the most renewable production in the peninsular system since records began. On that day, 72% of the energy generated on the mainland came from renewable sources.
A continuous forward-looking vision
Just as 15 years ago Red Eléctrica was a visionary when it designed and created the tool it deemed necessary to be able to safely integrate the maximum amount of renewable energy into the electricity system, the Company is focusing its efforts today on analysing the future scenarios that our electricity system will face in the upcoming years.
In this regard, the greatest challenge that CECRE must tackle in the short and medium term is the integration and management of the new renewable power generation capacity that will be installed in coming years, mainly wind and solar photovoltaic, and that needs to be integrated and managed by CECRE; a deployment contemplated within the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) in which our country is immersed.
On the other hand, the expansion of self-consumption, energy storage and hybrid facilities are new elements that must be integrated into CECRE, ensuring the security and quality of supply at all times, while maximising renewable production.
In this context, CECRE, as an essential tool for the integration of renewable energy, will contribute towards ensuring that the investments being made in the field of renewables to promote the ecological transition and decarbonisation obtain the desired results in order to meet the targets set by the EU.
15 years as a benchmark control centre worldwide
Its pioneering nature and its constant desire for evolution focused on continuous improvement have made CECRE a facility visited by representatives from more than 80 countries from five continents, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Jordan, China, Japan, South Korea, Ghana, Morocco, Algeria and Australia, as well as from the 40 ENTSO-E member states.