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 has built 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, is intended to 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.

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The project

The BigBattery is located next to the Schwarze Pumpe power plant. On an area of 110 by 62 metres, 13 containers 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 is connected to the grid at the high voltage level (110 kilovolts). This also provides 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. After completion of the construction work and assembly of all 8,840 battery modules, commissioning began in March 2020. This was followed by trial operation. At the end of 2020, the BigBattery began continuous operation.

The investment for BigBattery Lausitz amounts to approximately 25 million euros. The main contractor 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.

Logo Investionsbank des Landes Brandenburg

Pictures of the construction

Pictures: Andreas Franke and LEAG

More than 20 companies are engaged in the construction of BigBattery Lausitz.
July 2019: Ground-breaking ceremony with Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and Brandenburg's Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach.
13 battery and 13 converter containers, one unit transformer and two switchgears are the main components.
More than 100 foundations are built for them.
Around 8,360 metres of direct current cable are used to connect the containers of the batteries and converters.
End of September 2019: Delivery of the first converter containers. This is where the conversion between DC voltage (batteries) and AC voltage (grid) takes place during the storage and withdrawal of electricity.
A converter container weighs 26 tonnes. The necessary components are preinstalled before delivery.
End of October 2019: the arrival of the unit transformer.
The 88-ton transformer was transported over the 100 kilometres from Dresden to Schwarze Pumpe by extra-heavy-duty truck.
The unit transformer converts 110 kV mains voltage to 20 kV voltage of the battery storage.
End of November 2019: The converter containers are complete, the container of the low-voltage switchgear for the self-supply is installed, the first battery container is in place.
December 2019: Almost all battery containers are in place. Fire protection walls are being erected between them.
The battery modules are slotted into racks.
Each container will accommodate a total of 680 battery modules.

Flexible storage capacity

The BigBattery Lausitz stores 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 the storage unit is 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 is operating one of the largest battery storage systems of its kind.

Big Battery Lausitz: Grafik zur positiven und negativen Regelleistung in Zeitintervallen