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New energy battery storage system to be installed – Pilot project is a milestone and a research Project

‘This project called for a lot of vision on the part of all those involved’, says Niklas Netzel, the Project Manager, about the planned installation of the first energy battery storage system by Energiequelle GmbH. This innovative storage facility for renewable energy is being built in the energy self-sufficient village of Feldheim and functions as a ‘regulating power station’ at regional level. The first unit will go online this year, the second in 2015, when the full 10 MW of output will then be reached. Energiequelle is currently constructing a concrete building featuring a customised temperature control system and cutting-edge fire protection systems. The project is being financed by a venture capital company in which interests are held by Energiequelle, Enercon and a number of other partners. Grant support is also provided by the State of Brandenburg and the European Union.

Experience meets research
LG Chem is the company that supplies the lithium-ion modules for the storage complex. It is one of the ‘battery experts’ in the field of stationary and mobile energy storage. Enercon, a long-established manufacturer of wind turbines, has perfected its inverter technology over many years. ‘This experience provides a dual foundation for the pilot project. A research project will then accompany and support the actual operation of the energy storage system, in order to analyse potential options for using the battery storage system. Interest is focused on recording the findings made during operation and to work forwards on that basis’, Netzel stresses, explaining that ‘This is a first important step towards storing energy in order to regulate energy input when there is no wind at night. Long-term storage is basically a good thing, but today its cost-benefit ratio is not yet ideal. That is why the new storage battery provides a certain amount of energy buffering and does indeed function as an energy store, but its purpose is above all to handle a different kind of challenge. The grid frequency may fluctuate when phases with plenty of wind and a surplus of energy transition directly into phases that are windless, but with a high level of energy demand, for example. To ensure that it remains stable at 50 Hertz, our energy battery balances such variations in a highly dynamic manner, thus acting as a regulating power station. This response within seconds, faster than any other power station, is of interest to operators of power transmission grids, who are prepared to pay for the power output of the energy battery.’

Payment for new form of ‘green power’
In Germany, transmission grid operators have an organised, nationwide market for this load-balancing power capacity, which means they pay a special premium for grid stabilisation. With the new energy battery in Feldheim, it is possible to generate about € 2500 per week in revenue. ‘That makes energy storage technology a commercially viable proposition’, adds Netzel. 
Wind and solar power systems, supported in the near future with such an energy storage facility, thus allow more not just ‘green’ energy production. With the additional benefits they then provide, they turn the primary control energy market into a systemic service that is likewise ‘green’.
With more and more electricity from renewables being fed into the grid, it is clear that energy storage facilities are becoming increasingly important. From 2020 onwards, the need for regulating power stations is expected to increase throughout Europe. Energiequelle thus sees this visionary project as harbouring enormous potential. The directors of Energiequelle, Michael Raschemann and Joachim Uecker, are of one mind: ‘This ambitious energy storage project is a milestone for the energy transition.’
Note: more information about the new energy battery in Feldheim can be found on the website forschung-energiespeicher.info – on the list of projects under the heading “Batterie im Netz”.