From the BigBattery to Giga-Storage
Large batteries are currently becoming an essential cornerstone of our energy supply. Based on our concept of BigBatteries, powerful and flexible storage sites for electricity are being created. With its developed energy sites and effective partnerships, Lusatia has the potential to become the giga-location for battery storage in Germany before the end of this decade.
BigBattery as a safety buffer for the power grid
Battery storage systems are highly flexible systems. Through rapid charging and discharging, they provide a buffer between electricity generation and electricity consumption. In this way, large batteries support the integration of dynamic renewable electricity production into the energy system. At our sites, we combine large storage facilities - the BigBatteries - with existing infrastructures and modern control systems.
With the BigBattery Lausitz at the Schwarze Pumpe site, we commissioned one of the largest battery storage facilities in Germany and Europe in 2020. It has a usable storage capacity of 53 MWh. We are currently preparing to invest in another BigBattery in Upper Lusatia at the Boxberg site. We plan to commission it in 2024.
Developing Germany's largest battery park
For the second half of the 2020s, further storage capacities of up to 1,100 MWh are planned in Boxberg. In addition to lithium-ion batteries, we are also expanding our focus to other electrical storage technologies such as redox flow batteries. In this way, we want to master the leap from individual BigBatteries to Giga-Storage. Key prerequisites for realisation are market and investment incentives as well as funding opportunities.
We are planning the BigBattery Oberlausitz at the Boxberg power plant site (Saxony) with a usable storage capacity of 137 MWh. The technical basis is modern lithium iron phosphate batteries. The commissioning of our new large-scale storage facility is scheduled for 2024.
Structure of a Giga-Storage
Our concept for further storage facilities in Boxberg envisages two different technologies: up to 500 MWh based on lithium-ion batteries and redox flow batteries with up to 600 MWh storage capacity. Under suitable funding and investment conditions, they could be launched in the 2nd half of the 2020s.
Stabilisation of the electricity grid through balancing energy (frequency maintenance at 50 Hertz)
Increased flexibility to ensure security of supply
Increase diversity in the asset portfolio
Construction of the largest battery park in Germany in the interaction of the GigawattFactory
Flexible performance from Schwarze Pumpe
A good 53 MWh of storage capacity is distributed over 8,840 battery modules. The charging and discharging of the BigBattery Lausitz is based on the conditions in the electricity grid and the electricity markets. Generation, consumption and storage are intelligently networked.
In this context, the BigBattery Lausitz has been reliably providing balancing energy since December 2020. It is used to keep the frequency in the electricity grid within the technically required 50 hertz. By quickly absorbing and releasing electricity for a limited period of time, the BigBatttery helps to keep electricity generation and consumption in balance.
Supply security for today and tomorrow
The balance of electricity generation and consumption is necessary to prevent disruptions in supply and, in the worst case, widespread blackouts. Fluctuations affect the frequency of the electricity. It must always be kept within the range of 50 hertz.
Transmission grid operators provide for this purpose with various types of so-called balancing power. It comes from flexibly controllable plants such as batteries and power plants. The rapid use of balancing energy also compensates for unforeseen fluctuations and ensures stable electricity grid operation.
- If electricity generation exceeds demand in the short term, negative balancing energy is needed. During this time window, batteries can be charged, for example, to increase electricity consumption.
- Positive control energy is used when more electricity is unexpectedly needed than is currently available. Additional electricity suppliers are then activated at short notice. Batteries can also supply stored electricity during this time window.
The different types of balancing power differ in their provision time and duration. For example, primary balancing power must be fully available within 30 seconds and be usable for a duration of five minutes. Secondary balancing power follows within five minutes and the minute reserve within 15 minutes.
Today, most of this balancing power comes from conventional power plants, as it must be absolutely reliably available regardless of wind and sun. Alternative solutions are needed here in the course of the energy transition. Battery storage systems such as BigBatteries are a key technology.