German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon and wind developer Energiequelle have opened a utility-scale 10 MW/10 MWh energy storage plant at Feldheim in Brandenburg state, in northeastern Germany. The plant has been built to stabilise the grid of transmission system operator 50 Hertz.
An inauguration ceremony earlier this month was host to some 100 people to celebrate the occasion. And there was good reason to do so: with a total power output of 10 MW and 10.8 MWh of capacity, the storage plant is the largest of its type to have opened in Europe.
At the heart of the plant — officially the Feldheim Regional Regulating Power Station (RRKW) — are 3,360 lithium-ion storage modules manufactured by LG Chem, based out of South Korea.
The principal intention of the plant is to provide load-balancing power to the local transmission grid. Load-balancing power is what’s required to balance out temporal variations in grid frequency. The plant is capable of both relieving the grid when there is an oversupply of electricity by storing surplus power, and supplying power to stabilise the grid when required.
Importantly, control systems developed by Enercon allow the plant to perform these critical adjustments at a super fast rate, responding to changing grid circumstance in a matter of seconds.
Project investment is reported to have been €12.8 million ($14.3 million). A significant proportion of that funding, €5 million, came in the form of a grant shared by Brandenburg and, encouragingly, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
“Appropriate power storage systems are a key requirement for safeguarding future power supplies centred on wind energy. With large-scale battery storage units such as the one here in Feldheim, we can already play an important role in stabilising the grid in an efficient and economical manner,” said Michael Raschemann, Managing Director at Energiequelle.
Albrecht Gerber, Brandenburg Minister for the Economy and Energy, keenly observed the significance the plant represents for the role that energy storage systems (ESS) have to play in the transition to renewables when he remarked: “From today onwards, a new chapter in the history of power storage is being written. This battery system is not only the biggest of its kind in Germany, but also a milestone in the systemic integration of renewable energies.”
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