140 MWh German Energy Storage Project Coming From LG Chem

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LG Chem will be installing six 15 MWh batteries in STEAG power plants operated in the North-Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate areas. When finished in 2016–2017, the Großbatterie-Systeme will be able to store 140 MWh of electricity, which is enough for about 10,000 homes. 90 megawatts (MW) is the power capacity of the large-scale lithium-ion battery array made my LG Chem, which will be integrated with PCS and EMS solutions from Nidec ASI.

The main purpose of the huge energy storage system is to balance the grid and help maintain a frequency constant of 50 Hz. A STEAG press release says the cost of system is about €100 million. You might have guessed that such a huge project is linked with the national energy transition. “Storage facilities and the creation of flexibility are essential elements in the implementation of the energy transition in Germany. STEAG has therefore decided to make this investment in large-scale batteries for deployment on the control power market, without making use of grants or subsidies,” explained Joachim Rumstadt, Chairman of the Board of Management of STEAG GmbH.

steag coal plant

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Every one of the STEAG power plants that will be supported by the new battery system burns coal, so it is fascinating to see such a large, conventional energy company investing heavily in this form of energy storage. “The German energy market is the largest in Europe with annual consumption of around 550 terawatt hours and a production capacity of 125 gigawatts. Due to the political developments in the energy industry in recent years, the need for ESS solutions is enormous. With more than 200 projects implemented around the world, such as currently in Hokkaido, Japan, we have both the technology and the expertise to make a considerable contribution to this market,” explained Santiago Senn, director of Energy Storage Systems at LG Chem Europe GmbH.

(The Hokkaido project he was referencing will have a power capacity of 31 MW (the megawatt hours was not referenced in this linked article), which is obviously much smaller than the Großbatterie-Systeme. The Japanese battery system is for four solar power plants.)

Some of the battery installations that we have covered have been much smaller than the Japanese one, so it might have seemed that it would take much longer for a huge one to be installed, but the pace of change appears to be faster than we might have expected. Just last month, LG announced it was considering opening a battery plant in Europe — not for large-scale industrial batteries, but for electric cars.

The energy storage field seems to have been picking up steam, and is growing before our eyes. Energy storage typically might be perceived as the residential form — like the Tesla Powerwall — and something that conscientious people do to help the environment. In this case, we see it is a major coal power plant operator investing an enormous amount of money for practical reasons — not just to be “green.”

Related Story: LG Chem To Open EV Battery Factory In Europe — Maybe In My City, Wroclaw!

Image Credit: Stahlkocker, Wiki Commons

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Jake Richardson

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeRsol

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