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PIONEER, an innovative system that provides clients with both energy and value

Enel X is giving new life to e-vehicle second-life batteries, thereby enabling Rome’s airport hub to improve its energy performance and feed the grid

Enel X is helping Aeroporti di Roma (AdR, the company that manages Rome’s two main airports) take another step forward in its decarbonization journey. Specifically, Enel X and AdR have begun a new phase of the PIONEER project. After having started the construction of one of Europe’s largest photovoltaic (PV) plants to help power the Rome Fiumicino hub, the two companies announced the start of construction of a second-life Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in March. This system uses end-of-life e-mobility batteries that are perfectly reusable and suitable for stationary purposes. This innovative project was made possible by the European Commission’s Innovation Fund.


The innovative system was entrusted to Enel X, which handled its design and integration within the airport’s energy infrastructure. It is working closely with Loccioni, which was selected as the system’s integrator, bringing to the project its expertise in connecting the energy and e-mobility domains. Enel X also will develop BESS’s innovative energy management systems in order to optimize operation. When fully operational, BESS will be able to store up to 10 MWh of green energy for the airport’s terminals, while simultaneously providing flexibility services to the grid.


The activity developed by Enel X’s innovative work will help AdR in the optimization of its energy performance, thereby supporting its efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions. The project marks a further step toward the validation of innovative approaches in BESS, which is considered one of most important enablers for grid stability and the adoption of renewable energy. 

Pioneering a new approach for BESS adoption

PIONEER (an acronym based on selected letters from the words, “airPort sustaInability secONd lifE battERy storage”) uses more than 700 second-life batteries. They were supplied by leading international electric vehicle manufacturers such as Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz (via its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy**) and Nissan** in order to develop a 10 MWh storage system that is integrated with Fiumicino’s PV plants. 
This isn’t the first time that we have worked with Nissan. The company has already partnered Enel and Loccioni in the Second life project in Melilla (an autonomous Spanish city on the North African coast). The automobile group Stellantis provided part of the second-life batteries for the project, leveraging on its circular business unit SUSTAINera. BESS is also a fundamental pillar in guaranteeing grid stability and resiliency, enabling new flexibility services and supporting the development of renewable energy. The validation of new technologies and approaches in BESS is a natural catalyst for accelerating the adoption of those systems.
Battery Energy Storage Solutions

Battery Energy Storage Solutions

Integrated solutions to save energy and boost your business

The PIONEER project is an excellent example as it enables the reuse of e-vehicle end of life batteries for stationary application. It guarantees the economic sustainability of those technologies and, in the specific case of AdR, by reducing its operating costs.

True circularity: giving used EV batteries a ‘second life’

Second life batteries

Second life batteries

Batteries can have a second chance to create sustainable value, enabling a more efficient energy consumption

Enel X’s role is central to the success of the project as it will be in charge of the design and assembly of the 10 MW energy storage unit while simultaneously providing an innovative energy management system for BESS. Before the final deployment, Loccioni is testing a small-scale version demo-unit of the PIONEER system at its headquarters near Ancona, Italy. The construction of the largest second life battery facility in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, started at Fiumicino in the first half of 2024 and 5 MWh of storage capacity will be in operation by the end of the year. The 10MWh mark will be reached during the course of 2025.
By giving a ‘second life’ to batteries that are no longer suitable for electric vehicles, PIONEER – a project co-funded by the European Commission’s Innovation Fund – ensures that precious resources, with a residual capacity of about 80 percent, are not wasted but reused to support the development and adoption of BESS.

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Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.