Construction of an energy storage station made from vehicle batteries has begun in Lunen, Germany, at Remondis SE, a recycling, service, and water company. GETEC Energie AG, TMH, and Daimler AG are collaborators on the project. When completed, it will have a 13 MWh capacity.
A different recent energy storage installation in Germany has a 10 MW/10MWH capacity — projects of this scale seem to be popping up quite often lately.
“We work towards an emissions-free energy and automotive world. With our technology, we help to achieve a breakthrough in electric mobility and revolutionise the energy markets,” explained TMH founder and CEO Thomas Raffeiner.
This project is fascinating in a number of ways. First, we might have a tendency to believe that electric vehicle batteries can only be used for electric vehicles, which is not unreasonable, but if they can be used effectively outside of vehicles as well, then they are not as limited as we might believe they are and their costs get spread out much more widely among value/benefit from multiple industries. In other words, then they are a dual-purpose technology that can have commercial applications in the energy markets.
The crux of the situation in Germany is this: “TMH developed a technology that allows vehicle batteries to be integrated into the power grid. In Lünen, this technology is put to use for stationary storage; in other projects, electric vehicles are integrated as aggregated swarm storage devices.”
Germany is obviously a solar power leader, with an estimated 1.5 million solar arrays installed so far. Most of these are at homes or mid-sized businesses. How long will it take to add another 300,000 EVs in Germany, and what impact will that have in terms of energy storage?
Outside of Germany, it seems that Tesla’s Gigafactory will generate a tremendous output of batteries eventually, and they will be used in a number of ways. If they could be employed in the same manner as the energy storage project is in Lunen, then they would have even greater usage and lifespans. What if we could use our old EV batteries again in home or business energy storage units?
Energy storage has been the missing piece of the clean energy mechanism, because historically there hasn’t been much backup of solar and wind power systems. If more and more battery systems are installed and they prove to be effective, then solar and wind power should become more popular and have less resistance when they are replacing fossil fuels.
Images via Daimler