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Joint venture will lead to efficient battery systems

How is it possible stabilise power that is generated by renewable energy sources and therefore is subject to fluctuations caused by the weather? That is undeniably one of the key questions at the heart of the current energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Efficient battery systems will play an important part going forward, as they can be used to compensate for imbalances in the amount of energy being generated and required by consumers.

And now, within the scope of their joint venture Kraftwerksbatterie Heilbronn GmbH, Bosch and EnBW have come up with the answer. Their joint efforts have brought about the creation of an energy storage system for primary control reserve at the EnBW power plant in Heilbronn. Transmission grid operators require primary control reserve power to even out any frequency fluctuations in its electric power grid. This energy storage system is among the first of its kind to be integrated into the control technology of a major power plant in Germany. The energy storage system in Heilbronn consists of 768 lithium-ion battery modules. It has a maximum power output of around 5MW and an installed storage capacity of 5MWh.

“We have so much research and innovation potential at our disposal as far as the energy transition is concerned. It is down to us to use that potential and make advancements,” said Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann at the official commissioning of the battery storage system. “The battery storage system is a prime example of this. It opens up new levels of flexibility that will allow us to guarantee power grid stability and in turn a power supply that we can rely on. Not to mention that it has been developed specifically for the energy market, where it needs to really prove what it can do.”

Kretschmann went on to say that, as a result, the energy transition in Baden-Württemberg is witnessing the birth of a new environmental and technological momentum of its own.
“This will lead us to new products, processes and business models. And, of course, new partnerships,” said Kretschmann.

“Our intelligent networked solutions provide the foundations for efficient energy grids. They facilitate smart energy management, which in turn protects the environment and saves money,” explained Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, responsible for the business sector Energy and Building Technology. “Lithium-ion batteries can supply energy in no time, which makes them suited for making primary control reserves available.”

The storage system covers less than a fifth of the regulation power at the power plant in Heilbronn and it can receive, or output, exact amounts within a matter of seconds. The amount of power in the space of one year equates to around the average annual consumption of 400 two-person households.

“We want to work together to help improve the reliability of the power supply and the flexibility of the energy system in Baden-Württemberg, so we can take the next step forward on the energy transition path,” explained Dr Hans-Josef Zimmer, member of the executive board at EnBW.

Today, it is primarily still the large power plants that generate the regulation energy needed for grid stability. And by doing so, those large power plants ensure that a highly reliable power supply is made available. But things cannot stay that way.

“We are about to see a fundamental change to our energy system, as the focus moves away from this centralised approach,” said Zimmer.

He went on to explain that this development calls for fresh solutions. Using battery systems to provide primary control reserve is a good example.

In the wake of the continually increasing share of renewable energies in Germany, energy suppliers are facing new challenges. While working on this project, EnBW has been able to apply its experience in the energy sector and took the lead on the civil works and power grid connection on-site. Bosch’s contribution was its expertise in stationary storage solutions, with the technology company developing and installing the battery storage system itself. Construction, which started on the site of the power plant in Heilbronn back in the late summer of 2017, has been fully completed, meaning that it is now time for the storage system’s normal operation to get under way.

Kraftwerksbatterie Heilbronn GmbH now plans to use the experience gathered during this project to offer solutions for other customers.

The joint venture provides services relating to the integration of battery storage systems into renewable and conventional generation systems, or industrial energy systems, including marketing batteries on the energy market.

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