A new large-scale battery energy storage system was recently unveiled at the Alt Daber solar power plant in Germany by the companies Belectric and Vattenfall, via a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
This new energy storage facility — the first large-scale battery storage system to be installed at a large PV farm in Europe — was designed with the intention of putting the solar energy facility on even footing with conventional power plants.
The energy storage facility is based around lead-acid batteries, which are to be used to provide primary operating reserve to the high-voltage transmission network.
Belectric’s founder and general director Bernhard Beck noted at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony: “We’re now on an equal footing with conventional power plant operators. You’re always hearing the claim that solar power plants can’t do this. Now we’re proving that opposite is true.”
The opening of the storage facility is certainly a good step towards making renewables more appealing to policymakers and utilities in the region. Presuming it proves cost-successful anyways.
The new storage system will make it possible to feed primary operating reserve power directly into the 110 kV high-voltage distribution network that the solar power plant is connected to — which is somewhat notable as most solar power plants are typically connected to low- or medium-voltage networks.
Beck noted, while commenting on the value of the system: “If you can react quickly to changes in frequency, you don’t have to hold as much operating power in reserve as you do with units that react more slowly.” Thereby, this system proves economical even right now (with incentives), Beck notes.
For the system to be economical without any financial support, costs will have to come down by around a third.
Image Credit: Belectric