Battery storage systems are an important element in the energy transition, since they can store energy when too much is produced from renewables, and make it available when needed, even at times when no power is currently being generated. For example, overproduction from solar power stations at midday can be stored for use in the evening once the sun has set. Battery storage systems can adapt to almost any circumstance, since they can be set up in almost any location, and are highly flexible in terms of size.
Battery storage systems as a multifunction tool to ensure a reliable, stable power network
Battery storage systems are also multifunction tools to help keep the grid stable. Renewable energy sources such as the sun and wind don’t always provide enough replenishment, which can lead to instabilities in the power network. In such cases it’s possible to use battery storage systems to make stored capacity available in a matter of seconds and thus maintain the necessary grid frequency. This need will continue to increase in future. The expansion of renewables is making electricity generation increasingly volatile. In other words, the swings between overproduction and underproduction are becoming more extreme. This is where battery storage systems act as an important technology in directly offsetting short-term fluctuations.
Battery storage systems can also be used to reduce the need to expand power networks, by positioning them at both ends of an overloaded grid section to absorb peak loads.
Battery storage system project development
As a driver of the energy transition, RWE has been developing, building and operating battery storage systems in Europe and Australia for more than six years. These battery storage systems can either serve as individual projects to support grid stability, for example, or be part of a hybrid project to optimise power generation using renewables in the form of wind, photovoltaics or run-of-river hydropower plants.
Battery storage system research
RWE recognised the potential of battery storage systems at an early stage, and has been active in system development for more than ten years; by 2030 it would like to develop 3 GW of battery storage systems and have them operating. As a driver of the energy transition, RWE also researches and develops the use of battery storage systems from used electric vehicle batteries (“second life”) or redox flow systems.