This article was originally posted at Energy Matters.
Europe’s first utility scale battery energy storage facility was officially opened on Wednesday.
Wemag AG supplies an area of 8,600 sq km and 80 percent of its electricity was generated by wind and solar power in 2013. The storage facility, which helps address intermittency of renewable sources and other fluctuations that can lead to blackouts and damage, will enable the company to go 100% renewable this year.
“Up to now the power grid has been largely stabilized by inflexible coal-fired power plants, which can only use a fraction of their output for control power. This blocks space in the grid, increasingly forcing wind and solar generation to be taken offline,” explained Clemens Triebel, CTO of Younicos.
“Our battery park avoids this economic impact because it is much faster and more precise than a thermal power station. Thus, our 5 megawatt battery in Schwerin provides the same control power as a conventional 50 megawatt turbine.”
The 5-megawatt hour lithium-ion battery based facility incorporates 25,600 lithium-manganese cells supplied by Samsung SDI; which have been guaranteed for 20 years. Five, four-ton medium-voltage transformers connect the power plant to regional distribution as well as the nearby 380-kV high-voltage grid.
Germany is leading the way on the deployment battery based energy storage; particularly in the residential sector – much like it did with solar power systems.
German government subsidies and low interest financing has already made home energy storage “very affordable” for households and businesses.
While Australia has some way to go before home energy storage could be considered affordable for many, some competitive solutions have already appeared; such as the PowerLegato and SMA’s flexible storage system.