Environment Ministry Supports WEMAG Battery Plant with EUR 1.3 Million

Wemag AG, a utility located in Schwerin, Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, will receive EUR 1.3 million through the Environmental Innovation Program (Umweltinnovationsprogramm) for a 5 MW lithium-ion battery plant, the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) informed.  The battery plant pilot project shall go online in September 2014, providing primary reserve (Primärregelleistung), thus helping to balance the grids and integrate green energy.

The plant for which the ground-breaking ceremony took place yesterday will be delivered turnkey by the Berlin-based company Younicos. It shall help to balance the fluctuating input of renewable power plants, in particular wind and solar power plants, and reduce the need to operate conventional power plants for this purpose. According to WEMAG, renewable power plants with a capacity of roughly 800 MW are connected to its grids in the wind-swept areas of Western Mecklenburg and North Brandenburg. In 2012 they generated 80% of the electricity needed in the WEMAG operated grid. For 2013 the grid company expects a higher input than needed, i.e. more than 100% of the demand. The volatility of the input had increased and thus the need for balancing, WEMAG’s Tobias Struck, the project manager for the battery plant said.

BMU and WEGMAG pointed out that batteries have the advantage of being able to react to frequency changes in the grids within milliseconds and thus faster than conventional power plants, delivering electricity or saving it depending on need. Compared with conventional power plants 345,000 tons of CO2 could be saved each year, BMU said.

Apart from the support by BMU, the battery plant shall be economically viable, earning its money at the market for primary reserve, WEMAG underlined.

Financial support under the Environmental Support Programme is given for the first-time large-scale use of an innovative technology. The project must exceed state-of-the-art technology  and shall have pilot project status.

Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; WEMAG

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