Bosch & EnBW Bring Battery-Based Energy Storage Facility Online At Heilbronn Coal-Fired Power Plant

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The Germany-based utility EnBW and the auto parts supplier Bosch have now brought online a new battery-based energy storage project at the Heilbronn coal-fired power plant.

The new energy storage facility will be utilized as a grid-balancing solution (to modulate when demand overruns supply).

Image by K. Jähne • CC BY-SA 3.0

The new energy storage facility was constructed by a joint venture set up by the two German firms in 2017, and will reportedly be capable of providing a total amount of electricity roughly equivalent to that consumed by around 400 small homes.

The managing director of the joint venture in question, Ralf Klein, commented: “We are combining for the first time a battery with a large-scale generation plant. You can make money with that.”

Reuters provides more: “The battery is small, with a maximum performance of just 5 megawatts (MW). The Heilbronn site’s most modern unit has 750 MW of electric capacity and 550 MW heat. However, it can absorb and release one-fifth of the volume a big power plant normally releases into the balancing market at advantageous costs, because it can use existing staff, operations, and grid access, Klein said.

“The so-called primary balancing market, which is organized by grid operators, sets and pays service fees to providers in an auction system. Batteries help stabilize grid swings within seconds, potentially helping to resolve major problems brought on by volatile wind and solar energy. Batteries are becoming more important across industries. Bosch and EnBW want to sell their expertise to utilities and electric vehicle companies that are redesigning their material flows and work patterns.”

On that note, it bears remembering that such energy storage facilities are ideally suited to integration with renewable energy facilities and with dedicated plug-in electric vehicle fast charging stations. Watch that space.

Interestingly, while on the EnBW website checking for a press release, we spotted this video:

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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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