Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) are going to construct the largest battery system in Europe with their joint venture EnspireME. This battery system, located in Germany, will enable the companies to supply sustainable reserve capacity to the European electricity grid. Both parties will also start a pilot project involving the storage of locally produced excess wind energy.
Germany is a frontrunner in realizing a low carbon energy system, as exemplified by its famous “Energiewende”. As a result, an increasing number of wind turbines and solar panels are taking over the production of electricity from existing fossil fuel power plants. However, these classic plants continue to function as a reserve capacity to balance the power grid. This battery system will take over the role of primary reserve provider and in that sense forms a sustainable alternative for the backup supplied by coal and gas fired power plants.
Eneco and MC will start the construction of the battery system during summer. The battery will be located next to a substation in the municipality of Jardelund in Schleswig-Holstein, close to the border with Denmark. Schleswig-Holstein is the place where electricity generated by large wind farms is collected and transmitted to other parts of Germany. Thanks to the proximity of the substation, the battery can play a role in reducing the regular loss of energy at these stations. Initially, the battery will be used for the primary reserve market, where the German transmission network operators purchase the reserve capacity they require to guarantee grid balance.
With the support of the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Eneco and MC will start a pilot project that will involve the connection of nearby wind farms to the battery system as well. If there is surplus capacity or an overload on the grid, these wind farms will be able to temporarily supply their electricity output to the battery. This will not only reduce the load on the grid, but also has a financial advantage since the owners of the wind farms will be able to offer the stored electricity to the market at a more favourable moment. The joint venture is expecting to recover its investment in five or six years
With its 48 MW and a capacity of over 50 MWh, the Lithium-Ion battery corresponds to the average daily energy consumption of over 5.300 German households. It is expected that the battery system will be put into operation at the end of 2017.