Europe’s largest battery storage project is set to kick off in the German region of Schleswig-Holstein, close to the border with Denmark.

INSPIREME PROJECT

Constructed near a substation in the municipality of Jardelund, the 48-megawatt system of lithium-ion batteries will have a capacity of over 50 megawatt hours (MWh). This capacity corresponds to the average daily energy consumption of over 5,300 German households. Dubbed the EnspireME project, it is a joint venture between Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation and will cost €40 million.

The battery plant will be connected to a number of windfarms in the Schleswig-Holstein region, which is a major contributor to Germany’s renewable energy total and is at the heart of the government’s “Energiewende” (energy transition) strategy to greatly boost renewable energy at the cost of more traditional power sources such as coal, gas and nuclear.

RESERVE CAPACITY

The proximity of the battery system to the substation means it can reduce the regular loss of energy at these stations. Windfarms will be able to transmit their power to the battery system at times when there is surplus capacity or an overload on the grid. Initially, the battery will be used for the primary reserve market, where the German transmission network operators purchase the reserve capacity they require to guarantee the 50-Hertz (Hz) frequency on the grid.

The battery storage system, including the power conversion system and controls, will be supplied and integrated by NEC Energy Solutions. It is expected that the battery system will be commissioned by the end of this year.

Hiroshi Sakuma, Group Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Corporation, said: “We have been strengthening our activity in the renewable energy field in order to contribute to a low-carbon society. We believe that energy storage will become a key factor, given the circumstance that energy volatility is expanding as the result of the rapid increase of renewable energy. This project is a significant step forward to the realisation of the sustainable society.”

Kees-Jan Rameau, Chief Strategic Growth Officer of Eneco Group, added: “Although, fortunately, the share of sustainable energy is increasing rapidly, it does pose a challenge for the energy grid. In our view, the solution to this is two-fold: smart matching of supply and demand and a combination of small-scale and large-scale energy storage. Last year, we initiated the creation of a network of home batteries for consumers. In collaboration with Mitsubishi Corporation, we are now also making significant progress in the area of large-scale sustainable storage. Germany is a frontrunner in green development and, as such, ideal for gaining experience.

This step will also provide valuable knowledge that can be applied on the Dutch market.”

UK INVESTMENT IN BATTERY STORAGE

The UK is also investing in grid-scale battery storage. Last year, Industrial Info reported that the country’s grid operator, National Grid plc, had completed the world’s first energy-storage auction. Attracting 37 bidders, most of which were pitching battery-storage solutions, National Grid awarded contracts to eight companies to provide 200 MW of grid-scale battery storage, which it estimated will save the country £200 million ($262 million).

Source: Industrial Info Resources – 19 April 2017