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Addressing Energy Loss and Instability in the Electricity Grid: The Role of BESS Parks and Energy Communities

Addressing Energy Loss and Instability in the Electricity Grid: The Role of BESS Parks and Energy Communities

Energy loss in the power grid is a significant challenge for the energy industry:
When transmitted over long distances, part of the electric energy is dissipated as heat, causing inefficiencies and increased costs.

Tralicci dell’alta tensione

High voltage transmittion towers – Public Domain image

Innovative solutions such as Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) parks and Community Solar projects (CERs, Renewable Energy Communities) with shared photovoltaic plants are emerging as effective ways to mitigate grid energy and avoid costly infrastructure upgrades. In this article, we will explore how BESS parks and Energy Communities help address this problem.

Energy losses in the power grid, what causes them?

Grid energy loss refers to the dissipation of electricity during transmission and distribution. It occurs due to several factors, including resistance in power lines, reactive power losses, and inefficiencies in transformers and other network components. These losses lead to increased energy consumption, higher greenhouse gas emissions, and financial burdens on utilities and consumers.

Case in point is the loss of energy in the long haul, the “transmission lines.”. Inevitable, it is dictated by the Joule effect: a conductor crossed by a current will lose energy in the form of heat, in proportion to the product of its electrical resistance and the square of the intensity of the current flowing through it.
Remember the formula they taught us at school?

Pd = R x I2

Dissipated power comes handy when we turn on an electric heater to fight cold. The current flows through a coil (to increase the length of the conductor) made of a highly resistant material; this becomes incandescent and emits heat.

But the same law is a problem when we want to convey electricity over long distances, without it being wasted in heat loss!

The longer the route, the greater the resistance of the conductor. This is unavoidable in a transmission line the length of hundreds of kilometers.

We can try to decrease the resistance R, and in fact we already have been doing it since centuries. However, using better conductors has a strong impact on costs: copper and aluminum already have high costs, using the more efficient (leaving aside weight and mechanical properties) silver and gold would be cost prohibitive in wiring hundreds of kilometers of power lines.

Historically, how has the problem been tackled?
With a little ingenuity: the power produced and fed into the grid is equal to the voltage multiplied by the current.
Many will remember the formula with which they used to bore us at school, Ohm’s law:

P = V x I

Here “P” is the power fed by power plants into the grid, not the “dissipated power” of the Joule effect formula. Since the current “I” in the Joule effect weighs quadratically on the dissipated power, the solution was to decrease the current input as much as possible by increasing the voltage “V” proportionally.

This was done by switching to alternating current, where transformers allow the voltage to be changed.
This is how high voltage lines were born. Instead of the 220 volts of the domestic system, we are talking about values around 400,000 volts.

It didn’t stop there. It was discovered that the use of three-phase alternating current allows to further halve the dispersion, and requires less thick, cheaper cables.

Even with all these arrangements, electricity leakage can be 10-20% of the energy input.
Further, new solutions must then be sought.

BESS parks to reduce energy losses and save on grid upgrades

The drive towards energy transition has led to the creation of large-scale photovoltaic and wind farms, which due to their intermittent nature introduce grid instability, with large peaks of energy input, not necessarily balanced in the hours of production by the same amount of consumption.

Composed of large-scale battery energy storage systems, BESS parks play a crucial role in reducing energy loss in the grid.

Parco BESS, rendering

BESS park, graphic rendering

By absorbing production peaks, BESS parks reduce the need for infrastructure upgrades, and save expensive power grid upgrade investments.

They store excess electricity during periods of low demand and release it during peak periods, thus optimizing energy flow and reducing stress on the grid. By injecting stored energy into the grid at appropriate times, BESS parks can help balance supply and demand, avoiding waste and mitigating energy losses.

How Community Solar projects can avoid grid overload and energy loss

We have seen how one of the main causes of energy loss in the grid, is leakage in the form of heat in long transmission lines.
What if we could reduce, if not completely avoid, the input of energy into the long haul high-voltage transmission lines?

Comunità Energetica, rappresentazione grafica

Community Solar project, graphic rendering

Thus was born the idea of Renewable Energy Communities, the CERs:
Generate electricity with smaller renewable energy plants, closer to consumers.

Members of the CERs are citizens, businesses, and institutions, all served by the same “primary substation” – the transformer station that converts electricity from high to medium voltage, and vice versa – who agreed to share the energy produced by renewables within the community.

With proper consumption planning, members who join Community Solar projects can largely “self-consume” the energy produced within the community, thus preventing it from being injected into the transmission grid for transport over long distances.
This localized approach improves overall grid efficiency and reduces energy waste.

In addition, community PV projects foster community involvement and promote the adoption of renewable energy. Participants can benefit from reduced energy costs, cleaner energy sources and a sense of belonging in supporting sustainable practices. These projects allow communities to become active players in the energy transition while easing the load on the grid.


Electricity leakage in the grid leads to inefficiencies and rising costs, and is an urgent challenge for the energy industry. The integration of innovative solutions such as BESS parks and Energy Communities offers significant benefits. Battery parks help to optimize energy flow, reduce stress on the grid, and avoid costly infrastructure upgrades by storing and releasing electricity when needed. Community PV projects contribute to localized power generation and consumption, avoiding transmission losses.

By embracing these solutions, we can improve the efficiency and reliability of our energy systems, reduce environmental impacts, and create a more sustainable future.

Redelfi Group companies are prepared, with the development of BESS park projects, and the offering of the subsidiary CerLab!