The energy revolution is gaining ground. In the months to come, LG Chem, one of the leading manufacturers of energy storage systems, will be integrating six large-scale batteries in STEAG power plants. As part of the world’s largest ESS (energy storage systems) project, STEAG GBS (Großbatterie-Systeme) plants belonging to the German power supplier in North-Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate will be modernized. With 140 megawatt hours of power, the storage systems will deliver enough energy to supply 10,000 households per day with electricity. With this major project, LG Chem is further expanding its international business portfolio, including additional projects in Germany.
LG Chem’s storage systems are due to be commissioned in STEAG’s power plants in Herne, Lünen and Duisburg-Walsum, as well as in Bexbach, Fenne and Weiher starting in the middle of 2016 and running until the beginning of 2017. The large-scale lithium-ion batteries from the South Korean company have a power capacity of 90 megawatts, allowing STEAG to rapidly increase its output in the regions mentioned. Integrating the energy storage systems will enable several thousand households to be supplied with energy every day.
This project is a collaborative effort between LG Chem and Nidec ASI, an expert in electrical motors and generators. The ESS storage systems, consisting of batteries from LG Chem and the PCS and EMS solutions from Nidec ASI, are being used by STEAG to generate primary balancing power. This energy storage capacity is used to offset short-term, unforeseen fluctuations on the grid. The six battery systems will be operated independently of the STEAG power plants. Thanks to the ESS technology, power will be automatically taken off the grid within a few seconds whenever there is an over-supply of energy. Conversely energy will be fed into the grid to keep the frequency constant at 50 Hz.
New potential for the German energy market
With the STEAG GBS project, LG Chem is intensifying its business activities in Europe. Germany will have a special part to play in this process. “The German energy market is the largest in Europe with annual consumption of around 550 terawatt hours and a production capacity of 125 gigawatts. Due to the political developments in the energy industry in recent years, the need for ESS solutions is enormous,” explains Santiago Senn, director of Energy Storage Systems at LG Chem Europe GmbH. “With more than 200 projects implemented around the world, such as currently in Hokkaido, Japan, we have both the technology and the expertise to make a considerable contribution to this market.”
According to market research company Navigant Research, the ESS market is set to grow from its current level of 1.1 billion US dollars (1.0 billion euros) to 7.4 billion US dollars (7.0 billion euros) within the next five years. LG Chem’s plan is to help shape this development through its partnership with Nidec ASI in the German market.