LEAG's BigBattery Lausitz Storage Project

Innovative Solutions to Safeguard the Energiewende

Electricity drives our economy and forms the basis of our society. The Energiewende confronts the system with major challenges: Electricity from renewable sources is low-emission, but it is not continuously available. Solutions are being developed for this purpose.

LEAG is embarking on new paths and will build a battery storage facility with a utilisation capacity of 53 megawatt hours (MWh) at the Schwarze Pumpe power plant industrial site.

BigBattery Lausitz combines modern power plant infrastructures with storage technology in a completely new order of magnitude. In this constellation the project is the only one of its kind in Europe, to date.

The storage facility, which is based on lithium-ion technology, will make power generation more flexible and help protect the power grid from fluctuations. BigBattery Lausitz is characterised by innovative charging management and the use of a new type of power plant control system. LEAG is thus contributing another important factor to the system integration of renewable resources.


The Project

The BigBattery is being erected next to the Schwarze Pumpe power plant. On an area of 110 by 62 metres, 13 containers will house the lithium-ion batteries. There are also 13 converter containers, a unit transformer and medium and low voltage switchgear. They are the key features of the storage site. Equally significant are the battery and energy management system as well as the internal control, protection and fire alarm technology.

The battery storage facility will be connected to the grid at the high voltage level (110 kilovolts). This will also provide the connection to the extra-high voltage grid on site.

Our Timeline

In July 2019, the symbolic ground-breaking ceremony for the BigBattery was held. Six months later, all the main components of the storage site were in place. Commissioning and trial operation will start in spring 2020 and the commercial commissioning is planned for summer 2020.

The investment for BigBattery Lausitz amounts to approximately 25 million euros. The main contractor for the construction is the Czech energy company EGEM, which is cooperating with regional service providers from Lusatia. The project is funded by the Federal State of Brandenburg.

Pictures of the construction

Pictures: Andreas Franke and LEAG

Flexible Storage Capacity

The storage facility will store electricity produced in the Schwarze Pumpe power plant and electricity from the grid, which is made up of various energy sources. The loading and unloading of BigBattery Lausitz will be based on the prevailing conditions in the electricity grid and the electricity markets. Generation, consumption and storage are all interlinked in an intelligent way. In combination, various system services, such as balancing energy for the electricity market, can then be made available. The objective is also to develop further applications for stabilising the supply security derived from storage management experience.

Supply Security for Today and Tomorrow

Balancing energy is the safety buffer of the German electricity grid. Power generation and consumption must always be kept in equilibrium, otherwise supply disruptions and in the worst case a nationwide power failure, known as a Blackout will occur.

In order to prevent this, the transmission system operators have various types of what is termed balancing energy: They differ, among other things, in the availability time and reaction speed. Thus, primary control energy must be available within 30 seconds.

Secondary control energy follows within five minutes and tertiary control energy within 15 minutes. Their use ensures stable grid operation even in the event of any unforeseen fluctuations in electricity generation or consumption. Most of this operation reserve today comes from conventional power plants, since it must be available absolutely reliably regardless of wind and sun. Here alternative solutions are needed in the course of the Energiewende. A key technology is electricity storage. With BigBattery Lausitz, LEAG will build and operate one of the largest battery storage systems of its kind.