BMW Group Officially Commissions Battery Storage Farm Leipzig

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The BMW Battery Storage Farm Leipzig has now been officially commissioned, with the second-life BMW i3 battery storage facility now slated to provide storage capacity to local wind energy generation, and also grid balancing capability.

The new BMW Battery Storage Farm Leipzig will use up to 700 high-capacity, used battery packs from BMW i3s — making for an alternative to the simple recycling of used electric vehicle battery packs.

As of today, though, the new facility is only home to some 500 BMW i3 battery packs — reportedly owing to a lack of used i3 battery packs to use in order to reach full capacity (the BMW i3 only launched around 4 years ago).

Green Car Congress provides more: “With wind turbines located on the grounds of the plant, the BMW Battery Storage Farm Leipzig links decentralized captive production from renewable energies with local energy storage and an industrial consumer. The stationary battery storage farm is also integrated with the public power grid, which enables its electricity to be marketed as primary balancing power. When there is a surplus of power from renewable energies, large-scale battery storage can relieve the grid by absorbing electricity. When there is not enough power in the electricity grid, the facility can release electricity to help stabilize the grid.

“The BMW Battery Storage Farm project in Leipzig is part of the WindNODE initiative, dedicated to promoting intelligent usage and storage systems for renewable energies. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provides funding for the venture through its “Smart Energy Showcases — Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition” (SINTEG) program.”

This also comes at a time when BMW passed the production of its 100,000th BMW i3. “We are proud of the 100,000th BMW i3 built by our plant in Leipzig. The BMW i3 is the original, a true technological pioneer. With BMW i as our spearhead, we intend to remain the leading premium supplier of electro-mobility going forward. We are now looking ahead to the next member of the BMW i family, the i8 Roadster, which will expand our leading position in the field of electro-mobility. In 2025, we will offer our customers a total of 25 models with electrified drive trains,” said BMW CEO Harald Krüger.

“Series production of the BMW i3 began in September 2013. Current daily production of the BMW i3 stands at more than 120 units, with an annual production volume in 2016 of 26,631 vehicles. Production in Leipzig includes making carbon-fiber parts and painted plastic parts for outer skin panels, the BMW i body shop and BMW i assembly hall,” BMW Blog adds.

It was not indicated what BMW’s long-term plans are for battery reuse in energy storage systems like this new one in Leipzig. Is it economical, or just a pilot/PR stunt?

For further information on second-life electric vehicle battery initiatives, see: “Renault Second-Life Batteries Bring EV Charging To Less Connected Highways.”

Also, it may be worth reading Tesla’s take on such battery applications: “Tesla CTO JB Straubel On Why EVs Selling Electricity To The Grid Is Not As Swell As It Sounds.”

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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