In today's world, it is more important than ever to integrate sustainable and independent solutions for meeting our energy needs into the power supply. Storage solutions play a key role in this for a modern and renewable energy supply. This is because large-scale battery storage systems bring security to an increasingly stressed infrastructure by reducing the load on the power grids. At the same time, they enable a grid-compatible switch to renewable energy sources by balancing out volatility in generation. In this context, our new project "Battery Storage Chain Northern Bavaria" impressively demonstrates how battery storage facilities can be realized in Germany in the shortest possible time and deployed in a grid-serving manner.
At the end of last year, we at Kyon Energy were already able to successfully connect two new battery storage facilities to the power grid and, following initial test runs, commence regular operations. This was followed at the beginning of this year by the ceremonial opening of the battery storage chain in northern Bavaria together with our partners and representatives from politics and the media. An important event to draw attention to the urgency of building storage capacities in Germany.
Key data of the battery storage chain
The storage chain was realized at two locations in the north of Bavaria and has a total capacity of 42 megawatts. Six storage units were erected at each project site, composed of enclosures with battery cells, inverters and transformers. Lithium-ion battery cells were used, in this case from Samsung SDI. The longer service life and high energy density make this type of battery particularly suitable.
Each project site provides 20.7 MW of power and has a gross storage capacity of 24 MWh. To put these key figures in perspective: On average, a household (four people) in Germany consumes about 3,500 kilowatt hours per year, which equates to just under 10 kilowatt hours per day. A 20-megawatt battery storage system alone is therefore capable of supplying more than 2,000 households with electricity for a day.
Due to their flexible design and compactness, battery storage systems can be adapted very well to the given site conditions and optimized accordingly. Compared to other generation plants or storage options, a lot of usable space can be saved. At both locations of the Northern Bavaria battery storage chain, less than 2,500 square meters were required for the construction of the plants.
More detailed information on the construction of a large-scale battery storage system can also be found in our blog article "How battery storage systems are constructed".
How are the battery storage systems being used now?
Both battery storage systems are connected to the German medium-voltage grid with a voltage of 20kV via substations. Since their connection, they have been providing important grid-serving system services. In particular, they are active in the following applications:
- Provision of primary control power (link Glossary) for stabilizing the grid frequency
- Provision of Flexibility (Glossary) on SPOT and Intraday Trading (Glossary) to Buffer Price Peaks
- Smoothing of local load peaks
- Balancing volatilities in the generation of electricity from renewable energies
Thanks to their high efficiencies (over 90%) and extremely fast response times (in case of doubt, full power is available within fractions of a second), the storage systems used are very well suited to compensate for short-term fluctuations in the power grid. In this way, they bring security to the critical infrastructure of the power supply. At the same time, they are increasingly displacing conventional power plants and thus making an important contribution to Germany's decarbonization goals in the area of power generation.
Building a battery storage system is a complex project that requires thorough planning and preparation. From site identification to commissioning, it is critical to understand and carefully follow every aspect of the process to ensure a successful end result. Both projects kicked off with site acquisition and securing the grid connection. After positive feedback from the grid operator N-Ergie Netz GmbH, the building applications could be submitted in late spring 2021. In parallel, the planning and development of the battery storage systems took place, during which our project developers defined the technical requirements and specifications of the systems, taking into account the building code requirements and site-specific conditions. The components were selected with a view to optimizing efficiency for each site. Construction work was able to start as early as October 2021 following positive planning permission. Just eleven months later, the two battery storage plants were connected to the power grid for initial test runs in September 2022. Since October, the plants have been providing important grid-serving system services to the power grid.
The project thus impressively demonstrates how the energy turnaround can succeed through efficient cooperation with the authorities involved and despite a tense situation on the supplier and logistics market. The comparably short realization period of battery storage projects represents a decisive advantage for the rapid success of the energy transition. They can undercut most other renewable energy expansion plants in terms of both approval and construction time. Especially in times of crisis, this is an important factor for quickly contributing to security of supply and price stability.
In the process, the many stakeholders must be equally involved from the very beginning. In addition to our partners Eco Stor (storage manufacturer) and VERBUND, Austria's largest energy supplier (storage operator), the municipalities were also intensively involved in every step of the process. In this way, local opportunities and challenges were included in the planning from the very beginning, and potential risks were quickly identified and jointly solved.
Thetwo new battery storage projects in Diespeck and Iphofen represent another important step towards a sustainable and reliable energy supply and in the development of storage capacities in Germany. With a total of 42 MW, the two plants are now the most powerful in Bavaria. The projects also illustrate how, through efficient processes in the cooperation of municipalities, authorities, suppliers, investors and project developers , important contributions to solving the energy crisis can be realized in the shortest possible time. Because that is what Germany needs particularly urgently right now - measures that can be implemented in the short term. With a project realization period from site search to commissioning of less than 16 months, the battery storage facilities in northern Bavaria are making an impressively fast contribution, especially in the current crisis. Following their example, many more battery storage projects will follow in Germany